Bill Gates – Why I’d Rather Cuddle with a Shark than a Kissing Bug

In 2015, more than 1.5 million people were killed by animals. That’s a startling figure. To put it in perspective, that’s about the same number of people who died from HIV/AIDS or diabetes last year.

Some of the culprits are the usual suspects of the animal kingdom. Lions, for instance, with their incredible ability to stalk prey, are responsible for the deaths of about 100 people. Hippos, very territorial, are more dangerous, claiming about 500 lives. Crocodiles are even more deadly, killing 1,000 people.

But take a look at this interactive chart and you might be surprised to learn that the heavyweights of the animal kingdom do the least damage. Pound for pound, a shark isn’t that scary compared with many smaller creatures on the list. Explore this graphic to find out why.

(You can also learn more about one of the biggest killers here.)

World’s Deadliest Animals
Number of people killed by animals, 2015
MOSQUITO
HUMAN
SNAKE
SANDFLY
DOG
KISSING BUG
FRESHWATER SNAIL
SCORPION
TSETSE FLY
ASCARIS ROUNDWORM
TAPEWORM
CROCODILE
HIPPOPOTAMUS
OTHER
Mosquito
By far, mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on earth. Mosquitoes carrying malaria kill a child every minute.
Mosquito
830,000 deaths
Human
Human-on-human deaths are killer. In 2015, homicides made up around 409,000 deaths, war approximately 172,000 deaths.
Human
580,000 deaths
Snake
A deadly snakebite injects venom that can destroy cells or affect nerves. The wrong combination is fatal.
Snake
60,000 deaths
Sandfly
A single sandfly bite can inject you with a parasite that causes skin sores and ulcers. If the infection reaches vital organs, death often follows.
Sandfly
24,200 deaths
Dog
Most dog-caused deaths are due to rabies. Untreated rabies causes bizarre behavior, such as an irrational fear of water, and usually results in death.
Dog
17,400 deaths
Kissing bug
Bites often occur near the mouth, hence this killer’s name. The parasite in the bug’s feces causes the often-deadly Chagas disease.
Kissing bug
8,000 deaths
Freshwater snail
Bites from these snails release a parasitic flatworm which lays eggs in the bloodstream. Death results from damage to major organs.
Freshwater snail
4,400 deaths
Scorpion
A scorpion’s venom is delivered by a brute sting from its tail. Luckily, few species have venom strong enough to kill humans.
Scorpion
3,500 deaths
Tsetse fly
Tsetse fly bites transmit parasites that attack the central nervous system, causing confusion and seizures, until the body shuts down fully.
Tsetse fly
3,500 deaths
Ascaris roundworm
Roundworm eggs enter the body via contaminated food or drink. Eggs hatch in the intestines, and adult worms can obstruct major organs.
Ascaris roundworm
2,700 deaths
Tapeworm
Some species can live inside the body with no symptoms for years. If untreated, tapeworms can cause blindness, seizures, dementia, and death.
Tapeworm
1,600 deaths
Crocodile
Crocodiles usually clamp down on their victims and submerge them under water, drowning their prey before consuming it.
Crocodile
1,000 deaths
Hippopotamus
Hippopotami are aggressive, territorial animals who are known to charge humans in boats. Victims of hippo attacks often die from drowning.
Hippopotamus
500 deaths
Elephant
Rarely, elephants’ aggression turns toward humans. They’ve been known to invade villages at night, wrecking homes and trampling residents.
Elephant
100 deaths
Lion
Lions hunt in groups, stalking their prey until going for the kill. On occasion, lions attack villages, killing and eating unlucky victims.
Lion
100 deaths
Bee
For severely allergic humans, a bee sting causes the throat to swell, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.
Bee
60 deaths
Tiger
The tiger will snap the spinal cord of smaller prey, or attack the throat of larger animals with its large, powerful jaws.
Tiger
50 deaths
Jellyfish
Stings from a jellyfish deliver venom that attacks the nervous system. Victims typically go into shock and drown before heart failure sinks in.
Jellyfish
40 deaths
Wolf
Wolves rarely attack humans, but when they do, they bite their prey repeatedly in the head and face until dragging them off to be consumed.
Wolf
10 deaths
Shark
Sharks only kill about six people every year, but humans harvest roughly 100 million sharks every year.
Shark
6 deaths
SOURCES: IHME, WHO, CrocBITE, FAO, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, International Shark Attack File, National Geographic, PBS, National Science Foundation, CDC, WWF, French Institute of Research for Development, Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, Nature. All calculations have wide error margins.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s