It Causes More Than 800,000 Deaths Per Year: The Most Dangerous Animal for Humans, by Far

It Causes More Than 800,000 Deaths Per Year: The Most Dangerous Animal for Humans, by Far

Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous animal for humans is neither the shark, lion, snake, scorpion, nor even the spider. The worst part is that you will likely come across it every day.

When we think of the most dangerous animals for humans, we often imagine imposing and frightening creatures like sharks, lions, or elephants. However, despite their deadly attacks, they cause relatively few deaths globally. Sharks, often feared because of their portrayal in films, kill around ten people per year. Lions and elephants, although more dangerous than sharks, each cause about 100 human deaths annually.

The hippopotamus, which might seem harmless, is responsible for 500 deaths yearly. The deadlier crocodile kills around a thousand people annually. More surprisingly, dogs, often considered man's best friend, cause around 25,000 deaths each year, mainly by transmitting rabies.

In fact, smaller animals prove to be the most dangerous to humans. The tsetse fly, which spreads sleeping sickness, is responsible for around 10,000 deaths per year. Snakes cause approximately 50,000 human deaths annually, mainly due to venomous bites. Despite its much-feared sting, the scorpion only kills around 3,000 humans per year. And spiders, the objects of many phobias, only claim around ten victims each year worldwide.

In reality, the deadliest animal for humans is much smaller and more common: the mosquito. This tiny insect causes more than 800,000 human deaths each year by transmitting serious diseases. It bites discreetly, indiscriminately, anywhere, anytime, earning it the reputation of a silent assassin. Although it prefers warm and tropical areas, it is present almost everywhere on the planet, particularly in humid areas where it breeds.

The mosquito may not seem like much, but it is responsible for the spread of some of the most devastating diseases on the planet, such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria alone causes more than 400,000 deaths per year. The mosquito also transmits dengue fever, a disease whose cases have exploded in recent decades and which has no specific treatment. The tiger mosquito, which has invaded the United States in recent years, is known to transmit the terrible chikungunya and Zika viruses, which wreak havoc.

Mosquitoes pose very real dangers that threaten millions of lives. Faced with this little killer, vigilance and prevention remain our best weapons until effective solutions are found to control and eradicate the diseases it transmits. So, the next time you hear that familiar buzzing sound near your ear, remember that, contrary to popular belief, it's often the little beast that poses the biggest threat.