20 Scariest Animals That Have Roamed the Earth

This list of the scariest animals will give you a new understanding of our planet. Animals have roamed the Earth even longer than humans. However, some animals—such as dogs and cats—have been domesticated in recent years.

Even so, the world is still full of animals that humans shouldn’t—and would never be able to–tame. Scary animals, such as the Komodo dragon, the aye-aye, and more, are only some of the most feared in the wild.

They each have their own characteristics that make them special and feared in the animal kingdom. Read on and find the ones worth saving!

Murder Hornet

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Asian giant hornets are known to be the largest social wasp species in the world. They are also primarily considered bee serial killers, wiping out honeybee colonies in hours. When the murder hornets attack the bees, they chew off their heads, abdomens, and legs.

Victims of a murder hornet attack often likened the pain to a hot metal driving into their skin. Another source said it’s a “debilitating pain of a migraine contained in the tip of your finger.”

Komodo Dragon

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The Komodo dragon is a reptile with thick, leathery skin, knifelike claws, and razor-sharp teeth that could easily tear apart human flesh and bone. Though Komodo dragons typically prey on smaller animals, it’s best to remember that an attack from this creature could be fatal to humans!

They have a relatively weak bite strength compared to other reptiles like crocodiles, but no prey would be able to escape alive with their teeth and claws that can slash and tear their victims down to their bones. Any prey that can escape their grip will not survive either because of their secondary weapon: bacteria and venom.

Goliath Tigerfish

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One of the most monstrous and dangerous creatures that haunts the rivers and lakes of Africa is the Goliath tigerfish. It’s one of the most feared predators in the aquatic world, and it’s considered one of the most feared animals because of its documented human attacks.

They are apex predators that can grow up to 5 feet in length and weigh up to 110 pounds. Their most terrifying feature is their mouth, which is filled with razor-sharp teeth that interlock when the jaw is closed. The teeth protrude outward, giving the fish a fearsome appearance. Plus, their mighty jaws can snap prey in half with a single bite!

Aye-Aye

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The people of Madagascar know the aye-aye as the harbinger of death. Although weighing only four pounds, the locals view this tiny animal with terror and fear.

According to legend, the aye-aye has dark eyes, long fingers, and a ghoulish appearance that allows it to sneak into the homes of nearby villagers. It then uses its middle finger, which is considerably longer than its other fingers, to pierce the hearts of sleeping humans.

However, in truth, the aye-aye is a creature of the night that uses its long fingers to find and harvest insect larvae in tears. It taps its finger rapidly against tree branches to listen for hollowed-out pockets in the wood that hold grubs.

Emperor Scorpion

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One of the largest scorpion species ever is the emperor scorpion, which can grow to nearly eight inches in length and tends to weigh more than other species of similar size. What distinguishes the emperor scorpion from other scorpions is its strong shells on the outside of their bodies instead of an internal skeletal system.

They prefer to use their pincers to capture and kill their prey, but if they are cornered, they won’t hesitate to use their stingers. Despite their fearsome appearance, emperor scorpions are not aggressive; they’re actually popular as pets!

Wolf Eel

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If you ever find yourself in the waters of the northern Pacific, be careful of wolf eels. Their sharp, jagged teeth and powerful jaws make them true predators and masters of the sea.

Wolf eels have speckled gray bodies that seem to blend in with the rocky reef, making it difficult to see them until it’s too late. They can grow to over two meters, inducing fear in even the most seasoned divers!

Colossal Squid

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The colossal squid is a terrifying creature as long as a semi-truck and weighs over a ton. We’re sure you’ll freeze in pure fear and shock if you encounter one.

To put things into perspective, one eye of a colossal squid is as big as a human head! Although the colossal squid may be rare to spot, its presence alone is enough to keep you awake all night.

Bearcat

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The Binturong is also known as the bearcat. It is a unique animal found in the northeast region of India and Bangladesh, the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and the Philippines.

They have a tail similar to that of a monkey, and they are known to purr and groom themselves like cats. Additionally, they mark their territory with a scent that smells like a combination of buttered popcorn and musk.

Despite their cuddly appearance, bearcats are actually solidly built. They have a triangular face similar to a cat’s and possess sharp claws and knifelike teeth, making them a formidable predator.

Camel Spider

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Ironically, camel spiders are not actually spiders. They are a terrifying mix of spiders and scorpions!

However, as scary as camel spiders may seem, they’re not venomous. They just use their digestive fluids to liquefy their prey’s flesh, which doesn’t make them any less scary!

Saltwater Crocodile

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Crocodiles are fascinating creatures that have survived for millions of years. They are known for their stealthy attacks, which almost no prey can predict. In fact, they are responsible for a significant number of human deaths each year.

However, the saltwater crocodile is the largest and most feared among all crocodile species. With a mouthful of 66 teeth, including canines that can grow up to 5 inches long, it has the strongest bite of any animal in the world, measured at 3,700 pounds per square inch. That’s twice the strength of a hippopotamus bite!

Alligator Snapping Turtle

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If dinosaurs still lurked on Earth, it’ll be no stretch to say that the alligator snapping turtle could be one of their descendants or relatives. This prehistoric-looking reptile lurks in freshwater habitats, and snaps once provoked!

With its spiked shell, beaklike jaws, and thick, scaled tail, it’s no surprise that many refer to this turtle species as the “dinosaur of the turtle world.” They are known to snap at anything that provokes them, and though they’re not known to be a danger to swimmers, they can be pretty dangerous on land.

Ghost-Faced Bat

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Ghost-faced bats have faces like satellite dishes, with small, beady eyes that seem to glow in the darkness. Their ears are enormous, and their faces are covered in flaps and wrinkles that allow them to send and receive echoes, making them expert hunters.

They don’t have strong skulls, which means they eat mainly soft-bodied insects like moths. However, if you come across them in the dead of the night, we won’t blame you if you run because of the fear that their features induce!

Chimaera

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Chimaeras, also known as ghost sharks, are among the most mysterious creatures lurking in the ocean’s depths. They prefer to stay in temperate waters at around 2,600 meters.

These fish are closely related to sharks and rays but have unique features that make them stand out. With a venomous spine and forehead appendage, chimaeras are not to be trifled with; their spiky teeth and bony, armor-like scales give them the appearance of a prehistoric monster!

Tailless Whip Scorpion

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Tailless whip scorpions are a type of arachnid with long legs and spiny pedipalps or antennae that help the scorpion sense its surroundings. They can move sideways very quickly, which can be frightening to some people.

However, they are not dangerous to humans and are actually harmless. The only creatures that may be at risk from tailless whip scorpions are small arthropods, which can be impaled and crushed by their pedipalps.

Gharial

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The gharial is a fascinating crocodilian species that lives in the freshwaters of Asian rivers. Another fact that makes them more interesting is that gharials are an ancient crocodile species and are the only surviving members of their unique group.

Their thin, long snouts make them easily distinguishable from other crocodiles. Aside from this, their sharp teeth and huge size make them a marvel of nature that all prey fear!

Black Widow Spider

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If you’re scared of spiders, you’d better run for the hills if you encounter a black widow. After all, black widow spiders are the scariest of scary spiders.

They have a black bulbous body with a red hourglass marking. Aside from this, they’re among the few spiders that pose a threat to humans, as their venom is highly toxic!

Shoebill Stork

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Death stares can be intimidating in and of itself. So, imagine if you receive a death stare from a shoebill stork!

Its bill may look goofy from afar, but don’t be fooled; it’s a lethal tool. After taking its prey’s body into its beak, the shoebill opens its bill just enough to give its prey hope; once its prey pokes its head out, the shoebill clamps down its beak again and decapitates its prey by removing its prey’s head and swallowing the rest of its body!

Giant Spitting Cobra

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Snakes, especially cobras, are undoubtedly animals to be feared. Maintaining space between you and a snake can, for the most part, keep you alive—but not always!

This is because snakes like the spitting cobra exist. Even with the distance, as their name suggests, they spit venom into their prey’s eyes—causing blindness or even death!

Grizzly Bear

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When people think of dangerous animals, they usually think of sharks, snakes, or crocodiles. However, humans should be more afraid of bears—more specifically, grizzly bears!

In fact, grizzly bears are considered to be some of the most lethal creatures in the wild. They have superhuman strength and a powerful biting force that can split a person’s body in half in seconds!

Marabou Stork

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Marabou storks are known for their aggressive behavior. They have a short fuse and are quick to snap and strike at anything that triggers their tempers, including humans!

Their long beaks, protruding at about 50 inches, can deliver a painful pinch. With their black wings, skinny legs, bald head, and blotchy skin, they’re not the most attractive creatures to look at. In fact, they’re often referred to as the “undertaker bird” due to their appearance from behind.

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Author: Karen Danao

Bio:

Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

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