15 Animals With the Most Potent Venom

15 Animals With the Most Potent Venom

In no particular order, here are a few of the most venomous animals in the world!

15. Blue Ringed Octopus
Don’t let the small size of a blue-ringed octopus fool you. This guy is among the most deadly creatures in the ocean! Found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans from Japan to Australia, there are four different blue ringed octopus species, and they’re all venomous. Obviously they’re a terror to those animals lower on the food chain. Shrimp, small crabs, and an array of other sea creatures are pretty much ripe for the plucking when one of these Octopi gets hungry. But humans need to be careful.

Not that they’d eat us or anything. They’re only around 4 and a half inches on average. It’s the powerful tetrodotoxin that’s dangerous! One bite from one of a blue-ringed octopus would leave your face numb, and the numbness will be spreading throughout your body. Essentially, the venom blocks sodium ion channels and muscles don’t get signals to move. The worst part is, there’s no antidote. You’d have to wait it out!

14. Indian red scorpion
You can find an Indian Red Scorpion in, wait for it…...India! Although I wouldn’t recommend going out to look for them. As one of the most venomous scorpions on planet earth, their stings have been known to cause vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and sweating. Okay, so far not too bad.

But it also causes an array of really bizarre side effects, such as turning the skin a bluish purple color, causing swelling in the heart, and most curiously, causing ahem….blood flow in that special area that last for hours. Yes, you’ll definitely need to call a doctor for this one! The silver lining here is that with treatment, the fatality rate is less than four percent, but without treatment, fatality rates can be as high as 40 percent. But one thing is certain, if you get stung and you’re a guy, just be prepared to wear sweatpants for maximum comfort!

13. Marbled Cone Snail
A snail seems like one of the least dangerous things imaginable. Combine that misconception with their cool looking shells, and you have a potentially lethal combo. Living in the waters of Japan, India and Samoa, marbled cone snails shoot venom through its harpoon-like radula tooth from their body at their prey. Their prey include marine worms, small fish, and molluscs. But they’ll even eat other snails...they just don’t care.

The toxins in these various venoms are called conotoxins, which are various peptides that each target a specific nerve channel or receptor. These toxins are actually of pharmaceutical interest, because of the precision and speed in how these toxins act. For example, ziconotide, a pain reliever that’s 1000 times as powerful as morphine, was made from the venom of a cone snail. However, if someone is stung by one of these snails, they can have symptoms that include intense, localized pain, swelling, numbness, and tingling. Really severe cases involve muscle paralysis, changes in vision, and respiratory failure. Yeah, basically, don’t pick up any good looking snails!

12. Poison Dart Frog
Yep, poison dart frogs look really cool. However, you’ll need to keep your distance. Found in Central and South America, these little amphibians are known for their skin pattern. They’re also known for being extremely venomous. In particular, the Golden Poison Frog is very toxic. Poison from just one of these frogs can take out up to TEN people!

They’re so venomous that hunters in South America have been making poison darts from their venom for a lonnnnnng time. While most venomous creatures have to bite or sting to be dangerous, these frogs have poison all over their body and just touching them is a big no-no. The poison is batrachotoxin and even just a bit of it can cause paralysis and breath (pronounced death). It’s sturdy too. An arrow can remain toxic for up to a year after being dipped in the venom!

11. Black Widow
If you hate spiders, go ahead and look away now! Everyone knows a black widow is highly venomous, but did you know only  the females have the dangerous bites? Males do produce venom, but their venom is highly diluted to not pose any danger. The female bites have a healthy and painful dose of latrotoxin. One bite from a black widow causes muscle cramps, sweating, severe chest pain, and blood pressure to skyrocket. Definitely not pleasant.

By the way, have you ever wondered why they’re referred to as “widows?” Well get this, after mating, the female commonly eats the male! Yep, another one of these females! It makes you wonder if it’s even worth it! At least the males are smart enough to tell if the female has eaten recently or not by sensing chemicals in her web.

10. Lionfish
Some people call them a turkeyfish. Other people may know them as Firefish, Zebrafish or Tastyfish...but they’re most commonly known as Lionfish. Regardless of what you wanna call it, one thing’s for sure; they’re super venomous! Found mainly in the Indo-Pacific region, Lionfish are known to eat large amounts of small fish and mollusks. These guys are skilled hunters, using this crazy bilateral swimming motion to capture and swallow their prey whole.

They’re fitted with venomous stinging fins that can create severe sweating, swelling, reduced blood pressure, rashes, muscles cramps, and other terrible symptoms. Their venom is rarely fatal, but some species have enough venom to produce extreme discomfort for a period of several days. The good news is, they only use it for defensive purposes, so you’d only get stung if you aren’t careful while diving basically.

9. Funnel web spider
Just like pretty much everything else in the Australian wilderness, the funnel web spider is remarkably venomous. One bite and a person could be just done in less than half an hour. As soon as a person is bitten they experience something called Fillibration. Their heart rate increases, their mouth goes numb, their blood pressure increases and they have trouble breathing. The bad news, aside from all that things I mentioned, is that these spiders live in highly populated areas as well, such as Sydney. The good news is that since the invention of an anti-venom, no one has passed from a bite since 1981. But it still hurts a ton.

8. Pufferfish
Also known as the blowfish, the pufferfish almost looks like a cute cartoon or something. But don’t let their cute faces fool you, they’re quite dangerous! To fend off predators, they inhale a lot of water and inflate themselves to several times  their size. Fish are probably like, “I’m not messing with that thing ‘til it deflates”! However, as a fail safe, they also have some potent toxins.

Once a predator gets their mouth around a pufferfish, pufferfish release something called tetrodotoxin. According to National Geographic, it’s somewhere around 1,200 times worse than cyanide. Supposedly there’s enough toxin in one pufferfish to grill 30 humans! In case you didn’t know, pufferfish is also a Japanese delicacy called fugu. Specially licensed chefs cut and serve raw fugu, and it’s supposed to numb the mouth and make someone feel light-headed.

7. Fat Tailed Scorpion
Not only are fat tailed scorpions venomous, but they’re known for being aggressive as well, which makes Fat Tailed Scorpions very dangerous creatures These guys make their homes in the deserts of Africa and the Middle east. The Fat-tailed scorpion is ranked the most dangerous of all scorpions because so many people lie once they’re stung.

The Arabian Fat tailed Scorpions, for example, have an especially awful sting that can cause severe symptoms such as seizures, unconsciousness and abnormally high blood pressure. Small children and people with pre-existing heart conditions are especially at risk if they’re stung. However, if you get anti-venom within a few hours of getting stung, your chances of survival are extremely good.

6. Blue Krait
If a person is bitten by a Blue Krait snake and can’t seek medical treatment, chances are they’re done. Found in Southeast Asia in places such as Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, these highly venomous snakes only bite when they’re provoked. And that’s about where the good news ends and the trouble begins. If someone is bitten, their nervous system pretty much shuts down. Initially no pain is felt at all, so not everyone knows they’ve been bitten. If they don’t get treated, they’re done within a day. And even if they do receive anti-venom, they still only have a 50 percent chance of survival. And as if these guys aren’t devious enough, they’ll actually eat other snakes, including their fellow Blue Kraits!

5. Stonefish
Not only are stonefish experts at hiding, but they can unleash a world of pain that most of us can’t, and don’t want to imagine. It’s one of the venomous fish known. BUT, we’ll let one guy on an aquarium forum described their experience with getting stung. He said to imagine having each knuckle in your hand, then your wrist, elbow and shoulder being hit with a sledgehammer over the course of about an hour.

Then about an hour later imagine taking a kick to both your kidneys for about 45 minutes so that you couldn't stand or straighten up. Yeah, that doesn’t sound fun. On top of that, the area stung can swell to enormous sizes and a bite victim will likely experience rashes, sweating and increased heart rate. Yeah, I’m gonna take a hard PASS on this one.

4. Inland Taipan
While Inland Taipans are the most venomous snakes known to mankind, they thankfully live in secluded areas of Australia, and are super shy. Based on the median lethal dose value in mice, its venom, drop for drop, is by far the most toxic of any snake out there! Because it lives in such remote locations, it seldom comes in contact with people and therefore it isn’t considered the readily is snake in the world.

Armed with a deadly neurotoxin, this snake can take someone out in less than an hour if the bite isn’t treated. Their venom has toxins that cause paralysis or muscle weakness. The venom also contains a potent hemotoxin that interferes with blood clotting. That puts whatever that was bitten at risk for hemorrhaging, especially in the brain.

3. Brazilian Wandering Spider
Again, if you hate spiders, it’s time to look away again! Brazilian Wandering Spiders are known for wandering around the jungle floor in Brazil. Sounds about right! These guys have a very toxic bite. In fact, they’d be the world’s deadliest spider if they injected all of their venom with a single bite. While their bites are often not lethal and only done in self defense, they still hurt. A lot. Someone bitten will feel a burning pain, sweating, high blood pressure, nausea, vertigo, blurry vision and again, blood flow in that special area! They only use a little bit of venom when they bite things. They use their venom to hunt and to protect themselves, so they don’t unload everything in one bite.

2. Giant Centipede
To us humans, a centipede wouldn’t typically pose any sort of real life danger. But, for those animals much lower on the food chain, a centipede is NOT to be messed with. Especially a Giant Centipede. With a specialized pair of venomous appendages, these foot long arthropods crawl around South America and The Caribbean looking for insects and small mammals or reptiles to hunt down and eat.

Most centipedes use their venom to subdue their prey through neurotoxins that stop signaling from the brain to vital organs. All the centipede has to do is get in there for a bite, and it’s game over. In one rare instance a 4-year old girl was bitten in the esophagus, and didn’t make it. However, fatal bites on humans are still extremely rare.

1. Box Jellyfish
There are several different species of box jellyfish, some of whom produce extremely toxic venom. Some people have even given them the unofficial title of “The World’s Most Dangerous Creature.” While these jellyfish can be found in oceans all over the globe, the super dangerous ones are mostly confined to the Indo-Pacific region.

Armed with poison darts all over their tentacles, box jellyfish release a toxin that’s both readily and painful. Once the venom enters the body, it starts poking holes in the cells, which causes potassium to leak. From there blood pressure and heart rate increases dramatically, and in some cases, the heart will just stop.

Of course, there are some species of Box Jellyfish that are worse than others. On the “worse” end of the spectrum are the Irukandji Jellyfish. These guys fire their stingers into people. Their stings are so bad, they have an entire syndrome named after them. In a worst case scenario, their stings cause people to go into cardiac arrest and you know what happens next.

A sting from one of these guys will not only cause severe head, back, and abdominal pain, it also causes nausea and fluid in the lungs. And oh yea, it also causes a sense of impending doom. By that I mean an actual psychological condition that causes so much anxiety that sting victims are commonly known to beg their doctors to just end things for them. Here’s what’s next!

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