15 Adorable Animals That Can Make You Suffer (Or Kill You)
If there’s anything the human race could take away from our experience with Mother Nature, then it’s the fact that she’s extremely deceptive. Imagine this – you’re frolicking around the jungle, petting anything and everything even remotely cute enough to pet when you spot a beautifully fuzzy squirrel-tailed critter that could only have been created for tourists to snuggle with. Being an innocently jolly human being that you are, you pick the cute bugger up while it’s looking at you with its giant eyes. When BAM! The gremlin scratches your thumb, leaps off of you and screeches away deep into the bushes. Huh, that was weird, wasn’t it? Oh well, – you think – time to get a move on. When your thumb falls right off. You stop in disbelief, take a look at your arm and see your skin and tissue melting away. That’s pretty much what you can expect if you touch wild (and some domestic) animals. Actually, not quite – but as you’ll see soon, the truth isn’t that far away, either.
#15 – Slow Loris
What you’re looking at here is a natural-born killer. Hell, I doubt the person who took this photo survived long enough to take a look at it, with the ‘pounce-pose’ that loris has adopted. Slow lorises are a slowly-moving, puffy lot. With their large eyes, tube-ish body and what seems to be a relatively clumsy movement pattern, one would never think these creatures could kill a grown man. However, this adorable mammal secretes toxins that can cause severe anaphylactic shock. Excreted from the glands on its arms, the toxin earns its debilitating qualities upon being mixed with saliva. So… yeah, the slow loris can kill you by licking its arms and letting you touch it. The creature is an omnivore, catching and devouring small animals easily even though it moves slowly and deliberately. He’s like the creepy cousin of an average chimpanzee that sneaks around, drinks loads of coffee and eats bugs off of the floor.
#14 – Platypus
This is what happens when geneticists get drunk while mixing genes. With the body of a plump otter and the beak of a slightly retarded duck, the platypus looks like a stupid, albeit adorable creature that needs help with moving around at the best of times. The reality is vastly different however, with these Australian (of course) mammals being a fast and resilient predatory species. Its feeding habits are best described by using the word ‘evil’, since they catch their water-breeding food (shrimp, crayfish and such) and also drag them to the surface where they can’t properly breathe. If you’re wondering how can this shmuck damage your leathery exoskeleton, just remember the fact that the platypus is indigenous to Australia and you’re good to go. It’s toxins, again – but these can’t really kill you. Oh no, the platypus toxin will only make you feel excruciating pain for weeks on end. Only.
#13 – Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish
I’m not going to pretend I understand the visage of this creature, but it looks similar to a housecat. If the housecat was designed by H. P. Lovecraft, that is. The PFC (to keep it short) is the single species of cuttlefish that’s actually poisonous, which might have been suggested to you by its wildly colourful skin – the nature’s way of saying: “Eat me. I dare you. NO – I double dare you”. Coming into contact with this puppy can result in nausea, respiratory arrest and heart failure, essentially leading to death within minutes. As with all cuttlefish, the PFC is a highly intelligent, chameleonic creature that doesn’t mind swooping the ocean floor as long as it remains as flamboyant as it currently is. It’s also the only species of cuttlefish that cannot hover for extended periods of time, and thus has to parade at the bottom of the sea instead of treating the wide oceans to its vivid, fabolous flotational performance. And also kill something along the way.
#12 – Panda
Pandas are assholes. Come on, people. Why does this need to be said? They’re bears. BEARS, for Pete’s sake. For some reason, lots of people seem to think pandas won’t mutilate you, rip your head straight off or feast on your soul. Well, I’m sorry to inform you that they’re wrong. A panda absolutely will destroy you just as badly as a grizzly bear would, with the only meaningful difference being the fact that the panda will look adorable while doing it. Weighing up to 350 lbs, a male panda bear has more than enough muscle strenght to break you as many times as it wants. You shouldn’t forget that, even though pandas rarely eat anything but bamboo, they still have the digestive system of a carnivore, as well as carnivore-specific genes in their DNA. What this means is that, deep down, the panda wants you dead and sure as hell can digest you whole so that no evidence is left after the deed is done. Who would ever suspect a panda would eat you?
#11 – Pufferfish
Pufferfish are the balloons of the sea. Just as you’d poke a baloon with a needle to explode it, you could touch a pufferfish so that it explodes. With the slight difference being that you need to put it in your mouth, chew it and digest it and then you die. But that’s just nuances, no? These self-inflating buggers are indeed extremely toxic and should be handled with care (and a thick glove). Should you get poisoned, however, think about the fact that there is no cure – you will die in a short period of time. If you’re wondering about the exact intricacies of a pufferfish-induced death, the toxin works in such a way that it paralyzes your diaphragm, thus suffocating you to death. Colourful enough? If you still feel like playing Russian Roulette however, know that some specially trained chefs do know which part is safe to eat and in what quantities. Have at it!
#10 – Blue – Ringed Octopus
The blue – ringed octopus is a tiny, relatively docile and dangerous-as-all-hell aquatic creeper that has been designated one of the deadliest marine animals. Living in tidal regions of Japan and – you’ve guessed it – Australia, this trippy creature is often encountered in tide pools, sometimes dangerously close to human civilization. Even worse, since they’re really small (5 – 8 inches), it’s quite easy to miss them when wading through water and then step on them. Should that happen, the blue-ringed octopi bite and they bite hard. This is another one of those tiny critters that deliver an extremely deadly neurotoxin, for which no anti-venom has been synthesized yet. Since this is partially an Australian animal we’re talking about – my guess is that there simply is no anti-venom. Should you suffer a bite from this bite-sized animal, you will drop dead in a matter of minutes. Might wanna sit down so that the fall doesn’t ruin your face for the funeral. Good thing the octopi haven’t evolved thumbs yet.
#9 – Poison Dart Frog
This smug-looking hopper may look adorable with its anti-stealth defense systems it has in place, but as you’ve witnessed earlier in this list, vivid coloring on animals means danger. For any and all potential attackers, of course. There’s a whole bunch of sub-species of the poison dart frog, but all of them live on the areas of Central and South America… meaning that a fair number of people don’t need to worry about them. Yet. These froggies’ secretions are such a potent toxin that indigenous Americans used them for blowgun dart tipping. The poison dart frogs are all tiny, rich in colour and richer in poison. Even if you’re somehow hoping to jump from one tree to another when going on that Amazon expedition you’ve always been planning to do, these frogs oftentimes live in the branches too, up to 33 feet above the ground level. So the answer to your question is – no, you won’t be able to evade them for long.
#8 – Giant Anteater
This aerodynamically shaped horse you see here is the giant anteater. It’s a giant mammal that feeds mostly on ants (thank you, Captain) utilizing its elongated tongue to scoop them up upon using its extremely sharp front claws to destroy their home. While generally docile and peaceful, the giant anteater is more than capable of eviscerating a grown human being. Case in point – two Brazilian hunters were shredded recently while they were agitating and cornering giant anteaters. While I certainly disprove of the notion of torturing animals in this way, I’d say disembowelment is a tad sharp punishment. Still, the animals exhibited purely defensive behaviour and acted upon their instincts. Can’t really hold an anteater responsible for mauling an asshole hunter, now can you? Oh, have I mentioned that this thing is also sometimes called the ant bear and has been known of killing a jaguar or two? Remember the panda entry? Yeah, let that sink in.
#7 – Swan
Out of all birds, swans are the biggest assholes. What you see in the given image is a mute swan doing its best impression of a dragon, but failing miserably because it’s an oversized pigeon, dammit. For all of their grace and elegance, they’re also extremely aggressive and not to be trifled with. While not quite as dangerous as some of the weapo… I mean, animals on this list, the swan absolutely will not stop until it has mauled and/or slapped you with its wings like the vicious clump of feathers it is. Not unlike snakes, the mute swans hiss at their targets when they enter the swan’s territory. A practice that is shortly afterwards followed by vicious mauling and wing-slapping. If you don’t want to feel bad about running away from these monsters, take note of the fact that in Ireland rowing teams sometimes have to quit their practices due to a single swan floating around their puddle of choice. Yes, these men are terrified of swans and you should be too.
#6 – Bottlenose Dolphins
Do you like dolphins? There’s a good chance you do, since they’re so intelligent, gracious, cool and awesome, right? WRONG. Bottlenose dolphins (the most widespread kind) are proper bastards in every possible way. These sociopathic monsters often rape other sea creatures, kill their young and/or torture living beings just for kicks. So is it surprising that they can also be dangerous to humans? There have been numerous reports of dolphins trying to push human swimmers under the water or even showing clear sexual advances towards divers. There’s even a report floating about that a swimmer was killed in 1994 off the coast of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Basically, stay far, far away from dolphins. Maybe even fire an anti-materiel rifle at a couple of them. They’re not cute, they’re not friendly – they’re sociopathic murderers with a healthy dose of uncanniness about them. What we need to do is to show them why we’re superior (because of opposed thumbs, obviously).
#5 – Dingo
The same way a panda isn’t a harrier version of Hagrid, a dingo isn’t a puppy-dog. As cutesy and ‘pettable’ as it may look, that thing is a subspecies of Canis Lupus, which some of you might recognize as the grey friggin’ wolf. Being a pack animal, your average dingo-puppy will rarely leave his gang so if you’re trying to pet one dingo… well, you’re going to have to pet them all. With a fist to the muzzle, if you don’t want to get eaten. There’s a reason we have domestic dogs – which we’ve bred to live with us for thousands of years. These Australian canines, however, have descended from a semi-domesticated breed that was introduced to Australia quite a while back. They spread out and returned to their roots, with the dingo we have today being closer in behaviour to a wolf than to a dog. Summa summarum, the dingo is not a plushie.
#4 – Blue Dragon
This Pokemon right here is actually the only cool-looking slug you’ll find on this planet. This carnivorous slug floats across the ocean, waiting haplessly to stumble upon a larger, unsuspecting organism to feed off of. This fantastical hitchiker also feeds on other tiny sea creatures, including the venomous thingmajigs whose name isn’t all that important right now. What’s important is that the blue dragon stores stinging nematocysts from those thingmajigs within its own tissue. You can see where this is going, right? Should you try to pick the blue dragon up to admire its beauty, you’ll receive an extremely painful sting. While this isn’t dangerous in and of itself, it’s kind of an evil thing to do so this slug fits in nicely with the rest of the repertoire presented in this list. Also, the blue dragon can occasionally cannibalize a member of its own species so, you know, there’s that.
#3 – Hippopotamus
Oh what a gentle giant this piggie seems to be. The hippopotamus is, in actuality, more dangerous than your average alligator, jaguar and lion combined. Even though its size may be deceptively large (third largest land mammal, behind the elephant and the rhino), it’s a fast, aggressive and highly unpredictable animal that will mess you up without remorse. The scariest thing is that the hippo seem to direct quite a lot of hate towards us humans, and thus will often attack travelers without any apparent provocation. Some reports even mention these (usually herbivorous) animals feeding on carrions and exhibiting cannibalistic tendencies as well as predatory behavior. While this may be considered aberrant and out of ordinary, it’s terrifying enough that it happens… and what is tastier-looking to a meat-loving hippo than a fresh portion of tourist?
#2 – Africanized Honey Bee
With the number of bees pollinating our trees and shrubbery at an all-time low, the human race started respecting these fuzzy insects much more than was the case some ten years ago. While not dangerous, bee stings can cause mild irritation so we usually don’t bother them and live in factual harmony, more or less. This isn’t the case with the hybrid africanized bees, aka – the killer bees. These bastards are extremely territorial, aggressive and adaptive, due to their heritage – they were created by combining the ‘best’ qualities of the European and African bees so as to increase honey production and prevent the bee population from dying out. However, nobody could have predicted these insects becoming as deadly and intrusive as they currently are. There’s a good chance these invasive species will keep spreading and ravaging through ‘ordinary’ hives on the go. “And where are they going to?” – you might ask. Towards the American Southwest, dear reader. Towards the American Southwest.
#1 – Box Jellyfish
Admit it – jellyfish are cool. With their floaty personalities and whatnot, they seem to be in perfect symbiosis with the sea itself, graciously moving through the vast blue void. They also tend to be quite dangerous, with the deadliest of the lot being the box jellyfish. Chironix fleckeri, to be exact. This particular type of jellyfish has tentacles up to ten feet long, highly advanced clusters of eyes and enough poison to kill sixty adult human beings. Yep, you read that right, the thing’s a record-breaker on more than one front. Should the stings be severe enough, the victim will experience excruciating pain and, if the stings are left untreated, he/she may very well die in as few as three minutes. There’s a reason this jellyfish is regarded as being one of the most poisonous animals on Earth. Too bad it looks as awesome as it does though.
Never forget, kids – when you see something nice, colorful and/or cute in nature… run the hell away as fast as you can.