1. The Harvester Ant
Location: Southwest United States
Size: 1/4”, about the size of a tic tac
What Gives? Each of these guys pack a powerful punch: they have the most toxic venom in the insect world. Now you’re thinking, “They are small, they can’t possibly do much harm.” Wrong. They attack in packs. Good luck.
2. The Irukandji Jellyfish
Size: Less than 1”, about the size of a quarter
What Gives? After being stung, symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure can set in within a matter of hours, or even minutes. Its venom is 100 times more powerful than a cobra’s, and 1,000 times more powerful than that a tarantula’s.
3. The Death Stalker Scorpion
Size: 2”, about the length of a bobby pin
What Gives? Because of its six different, fast-acting neurotoxins, this little guy kills several people annually. Check your shoes!
4. The Blue-Ringed Octopus
Size: 4”, about the size of an average prescription bottle
What Gives? It turns blue when it’s ready to attack. Its beak is strong enough to pierce through wetsuit gloves and give the handler a fatal dose of venom. One dose of venom from these bad boys can kill 26 people.
5. The Boomslang
Location: Southern Africa
Size: 36”, or about the size of a 3-year-old child
What Gives? Boomslangs contain a hemotoxin venom that, when injected, can kill within hours. This venom causes a victim to bleed out of every orifice. And yes, every orifice.
6. The Brazilian Walking Spider
Location: Brazil, duh
What Gives? Not only does this nightmare have venom that is twice as potent as a black widow’s, it packs a special punch. Coupled with a neurotoxin, their bites also deliver high levels of serotonin. So while this neurotoxin is busy shutting down your primary functions, the serotonin causes intense tremors from your brain. Talk about multi-tasking!
7. The Geographic Cone Snail
Size: 6”, or about the length of a dollar bill
What Gives? This pretty snails have a lance with a cocktail of toxins. Your body will do anything to get the venom out, which will happen out of any and every hole in your body.
8. The Tarantula Hawk
Location: North America
Size: 2”, about the length of a AA battery
What Gives? Aside from having the creepiest name ever, this giant hornet’s venomous sting is the second-most painful sting in the animal kingdom.
9. The Golden Poison Dart Frog
Size: 2”, about the length of a paperclip
What Gives? Let’s just put it this way: Currently no effective antidote exists for the treatment of this type of batrachotoxin poisoning. This type of poison causes the nervous system to fail so quickly and effectively that tribesmen have been known to wipe their arrows with it.
10. The Hooded Pitohui
Location: New Guinea
What Gives? This bird’s feathers are coated in the same stuff as the poison dart frog. It takes only a few minutes for this poison to seep through the skin and kill its victim.
11. The Lonomia Caterpillar
Size: 2”, about the length of a pink eraser
What Gives? This little guy’s venom penetrates the body and prevents your blood from clotting, which will eventually cause your body to swell up due to pooled blood. The poison will also attack protein cells, causing them to leak and preventing them from clotting as well. No wonder people call it the “Assassin Caterpillar.”
12. The Puffer Fish
Location: In the oceans, around the equator
Size: Can be as small as 1”, about the size of a guitar pick
What Gives? Its poisons are types of saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin, both of which can be lethal. The two can cause rapid heart rate, muscle paralysis, a decrease in blood pressure, numbness, and tingling. Oh yeah, and death.
13. The Yellow Bellied Sea Snake
Location: Warm waters in the Pacific and Indian oceans
Size: 28”, about the size of the stem of an umbrella
What Gives? The venom is similar to that of cobras, except that this snake’s is three times as potent. One drop of their venom can kill three grown men.
14. The Giant Japanese Hornet
Location: Japan (and its relatives are all over east Asia)
Size: 2”, about the size of a lighter
What Gives? Included in the Asian Giant Hornet species, these guys are the world’s largest hornets. One hornet alone can kill an adult, and anaphylactic shock is a very common side effect of being stung. They can also fly at 25 mph, so running probably isn’t your best option.