- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

The Most Poisonous Animals

Which is the most poisonous animal of the world? Is it a spider? A snake? Or a scorpion? Even though you might think of spiders and scorpions first: The most poisonous animal is very fragile!

The Most Poisonous Animal ...

... is a jellyfish with a rather misleading name: the sea wasp. It lives in Australia and has about 50 tentacles with 5,000 stinging cells, which burst open when touched and release a poisonous substance. Unfortunately they can often be found in shallow coastal waters directly under the surface.

Many people have been critically injured after getting in contact with sea wasps. The poison paralyzes the muscles, so that the victim is no longer able to breathe. Luckily, humans never get the full load of poison, which theoretically could kill up to 250 people.

The Most Poisonous AnimalsAnimalThe poison could kill:
Most poisonous jellyfish Sea wasp up to 250 people
Most poisonous snake Fierce snake 100 - 200 people
Most poisonous fish Blowfish 24 - 30 people
Most poisonous octopus Blue-ringed octopus 10 - 26 people
Most poisonous snail Marble cone 20 people
Most poisonous frog Golden poison frog 10 people
Most poisonous sea snake Dubois’ sea snake  
Most poisonous stonefish Stonefish  
Most poisonous scorpion fish Fire fish  
Most poisonous ray Grey stingray,
American stingray
Most poisonous spider Brazilian wandering spider *,
Sydney funeral web spider
Most poisonous scorpion A. australis **,
Most poisonous cuttlefish Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish  

* Most poisonous spider according to the Guinness Book of Records
** Most poisonous scorpion according to the Guinness Book of Records

Sea Wasp Sea Wasp - Photo: Rich Carey/Shutterstock

Poisonous ≠ Lethal

The most poisonous animals are hardly ever the most deadly creatures. They generally have only small amounts of poison available and use only a little bit of it when stinging or biting. Less poisonous animals however can be very aggressive and sting or bite as often as they can. Therefore they also use more poison. The blue ring octopus for instance is a rather quiet chap that does not attack if you do not threaten or (accidentally) provoke it.

Blue-Ringed Octopus Blue-Ringed Octopus - Photo: orlandin/Shutterstock

Where do Most of the Poisonous Animals Live?

If you live in Europe you can be relieved: Most of the poisonous animals live very far away, in Australia. The sea wasp, fierce snake, blue-ringed octopus, Sydney funeral web spider, and Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish all live in Australia and Asia. In North Africa you can come across the most poisonous scorpions. The golden poison frog and the Brazilian wandering spider live in Central and South America.

No Antidote

Luckily there is an antidote for dangerous animals such as the sea wasp. Yet there is still no remedy against two of the most poisonous animals of the world: the blue-ringed octopus and the blowfish. But it is rather easy to evade them. By the way: You can come across the blowfish not only in the water, but also in restaurants: The Japanese dish “Fugu” consists of parts of the blowfish. If it has not been properly prepared, people can die from it. This is the reason why it is prohibited to serve the dish in Germany.

Most Fatalities Caused by Animals

Poison seems to be the most obvious reason, but this is not the case. The most dangerous animal is the mosquito, because it transmits severe diseases. The second most dangerous animal is the snake and the third the dog (because of rabies)!

Blowfish Blowfish - Photo: Beth Swanson/Shutterstock

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