Even the cutest creatures can have the cruelest intentions.
Most of the time you can tell when an animal wants you dead, either for food, fun, or festivity. The majority of us know to stay away from a tiger bearing its teeth or a grizzly bear gazing straight through you. But some animals, while appearing cute and cuddly, are actually no less dangerous. Here are a few that you definitely don’t want to approach, despite your overwhelming desire to do so.
5. The Gila Monster
Though this chunky, lumbering lizard might look cute, beware! The Gila is about as toxic as a Western diamondback rattlesnake. Gila Monsters bite quickly and their grooved teeth can dig deep into the skin. The Gila uses its powerful jaws to inject venom into an open wound by chewing and lacerating the skin with a vice-like grip. The bite can be extremely painful, and potentially fatal.
4. The Slow Loris
As cute to some as a child’s stuffed animal, in reality, its looks are extremely deceiving. The little animal is the only venomous primate and can deliver a deadly toxic punch in the form of an envenomating bite. The Slow loris excretes venom from brachial glands on its arms and then draws the venom into its mouth using a special tooth comb. The victim of a Slow loris bite can quickly go into anaphylactic shock, and without medical intervention, the chances of survival are minimal.
3. The Blue-ringed Octopus
Approximately the size of a golf ball, the Blue-ringed Octopus tops the coral reef charts as both mesmerizing and colorfully cute. But this little bundle of curiosity has enough venom to kill more than 10 people. One bite from the tiny little octopus and within minutes victims experience respiratory failure and paralysis. Without emergency medical help, death is imminent. There is no known antidote for the neuromuscular paralyzing venom, which is a tetrodotoxin that is also found in our next cute but killer animal.
2. The Puffer Fish
With big bulging eyes, a pursed mouth, and a somewhat clumsy swimming style, the slow moving Ocean Pufferfish, or Blowfish, is considered the second-most poisonous vertebrate in the world. In fact, one Pufferfish has enough tetrodotoxin in its liver to kill 30 people. The Pufferfish is regarded a delicacy in Japan called Fugu, and most people die from the toxins excreting during consumption of its flesh.
- The Golden Dart Frog
The most toxic combination of cute and deadly comes in the form of the Golden Dart Frog. A tiny, vibrantly colored amphibian, the Golden Dart frog may be the most poisonous animal on earth. Its poison, an alkaloid toxin called batrachotoxin, is so potent, just one gram is enough to kill 15,000 humans.