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Razor sharp teeth. Deadly venom. Slashing claws. Fatal stingers. Stampeding hooves. Stabbing tusks…..it’s what nightmares are made of! The thought of a dangerous animal stalking, sliding, crawling, swimming, charging, or flying nearby is enough to bring terror and intense fear to the heart of most people.
And no wonder! The prospect of being fatally attacked by a dangerous and deadly animal is a gruesome one, but do you know which species are most likely to kill you? Just recently we’ve had another fatal shark attack. So, is it the Great White shark? Or, the king of the beasts, a ferocious lion? What about a charging elephant? A poisonous snake? Or a huge crocodile?
Well, today we’re going to look at 7 creatures that kill the most humans each year – the world’s 7 most shocking, deadliest animals. But the deadliest of all, the species at the very top of the world’s danger list, may surprise you and shock you. Join me on a journey into the wild in search of the world’s deadliest – and the message they have for us today.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the stunning wonder and diversity. Dense forests, open grasslands, treeless tundra, sandy deserts, freezing ice-sheets, vast oceans, and endless skies.
Basically, everywhere you look, our planet is filled with beauty.
But what makes our planet truly amazing is that all of these wonderful places are literally teeming with life – a vast array of flora and fauna. It’s estimated that there are around 9 million different species of plants and animals in existence on our planet. And we humans are attracted to them. Some of them might look cute and cuddly, but in fact could kill you in mere seconds.
So, what is the world’s most dangerous animal? Which one attacks and kills the most humans each year? Well, here are the 7 deadliest – remembering that the figures can change from year to year and different lists have varying criteria and definitions. So, lists from different sources disagree and can be contentious!
Coming in at number 7 is the ‘king of the jungle’ – the Lion. As the apex predator in Africa, lions are one of the world’s top predators. Humans are not their natural prey, but each year about 250 people are killed by lions.
Lions are skilled and powerful hunters that are able to bring down large prey like buffalo, zebra and giraffe. A lion’s vision is about six times more sensitive to light than humans, giving them a distinct advantage when hunting at night.
Lions can reach speeds of up to 80kms per hour in short bursts. That’s about twice as fast as the fastest Olympic runners. Not only are lions fast, they can also jump up to 12 meters. So, it’s easy to see why the lion is referred to as the ‘king of the jungle.’ And, it’s easy to see why unsuspecting and vulnerable humans are no match for these powerful hunters.
THE CAPE BUFFALO
Coming in at number 6 on our ‘deadliest’ list is the fearsome African Cape Buffalo. These huge animals are without doubt one of the most dangerous wild animals in the world.
These aggressive and unpredictable beasts can weigh up to one and a half tonnes and grow up to 1.7 metres tall and 2.7 metres in length. They have large razor-sharp horns that they use to deadly effect. They’re fearless and will mob any predator that dares to attack their young.
Buffalo usually travel in intimidating herds, sometimes up to 5000 strong, but are one of the few animals that will actively stalk and kill humans if alone. Buffalos kill an estimated 300 people each year.
Number 5 on our list of dangerous animals is the enormous Elephant. They are the largest animals walking on the earth.
These massive creatures have impressive power and lethal strength. They can stand 3m tall and weigh up to around 7 tonnes, giving them fatal skull-crushing, stomping and trampling abilities, not to mention their dagger-like tusks. African elephants, particularly older bulls and young males, can be aggressive even when not provoked.
Elephants kill up to 600 people worldwide each year. Most fatalities happen by victims being trampled to death. In areas where poaching still occurs and the elephants’ habitat is in danger, the animals are much more aggressive.
Coming in at number 4 on our list of deadliest animals is the Crocodile. They are one of the most well-known and fearsome animals in the world and are considered an apex predator. Their powerful bodies, strong jaws and immense speed and agility along with their unparalleled stealth, make them one of the world’s most dangerous predators.
The saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile on earth and can grow over 6 meters long and weigh over a tonne. They have the strongest bite-force in the world and are capable of crunching down with the full weight of a small pickup truck.
They’re known for their ambush hunting technique and are indiscriminate killers. [They] will attack any animal that comes within reach, and that includes humans. Every year over a thousand people are killed by crocodiles.
They submerge themselves in water, waiting for something to come near the water’s edge. Their attack usually takes the form of launching themselves from the water with a tremendous burst of speed and grabbing its victim in its jaws. It then drags them back under the water to drown them.
Attacks on humans usually occur when people are walking, working or washing close to riverbanks and lakeshores, and when fishermen are getting in and out of their boats or canoes.
So, if you’re in crocodile territory beware the silent assassins that lurk beneath dark waters!
Now, coming in at number three on our list is the third largest land animal, the Hippopotamus. Now, this is surprising because they’re often seen as being quiet and peaceful creatures. But nothing could be further from the truth. They are aggressive and dangerous! Hippos are the world’s deadliest large land animal and are estimated to kill over 3,000 people every year.
Male hippos fiercely defend their territories, which usually include the banks of rivers and lakes, while female hippos can get extremely aggressive if they sense anything getting in between them and their babies, who stay in the water while they feed on the shore.
Hippos weigh up to one and a half tonnes and can run at speeds of up to 30km per hour. Combine this with their aggressive nature, agility in and out of the water, and sharp, half-meter tusk-like teeth in enormous jaws and you can understand why hippos can be such a deadly creature to encounter.
Now, we usually tend to think that large and fierce animals, like lions, tigers and bears are the most dangerous animals on the planet. So, it’s surprising to find that number two on our list of killer creatures is only a few centimetres long. Small, but deadly. That’s certainly true of Scorpions!
Just the mention of their name strikes terror in the hearts of many people. The venomous sting of a scorpion can be deadly. These creepy crawlies kill over 3,300 people every year.
There are over 1,500 scorpion species worldwide, and they all possess a venomous sting. However, only about 30 of them have strong enough poison to kill a person. Scorpion venom packs a punch and serves to paralyse and kill prey rapidly.
They generally prey on insects, and use their claws or pincers to hold onto their prey to both sting, and eat it effectively. Scorpions do not aggressively pursue humans. Most scorpion stings occur when people step on them or reach into an area where a scorpion is hiding.
Now we come to number one on our list of the Seven deadliest creatures in the world. And that infamous honour goes to Snakes – one of the most feared creatures on the planet – and with good reason!
Globally, around 5 million people are bitten by snakes each year, with more than 140,000 people dying. And for every fatality there are another 3 to 4 people permanently disabled or disfigured by their injuries.
There are more than 3,000 species of snakes on the planet and the one that kills the most people is the Saw-scaled Viper that’s found in parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, and especially in India. These vipers are very dangerous and have an extremely potent, toxic venom. Saw-scaled Vipers are one of the fastest-striking snakes in the world, and kill more people than all other snake species combined.
In India alone, it is estimated that they kill over 5,000 people every year. The latest research shows that Saw-scaled Vipers, along with Cobras, Kraits and Russell’s Vipers, have killed over 1.2 million people in India in the past 20 years. And deadly, venomous snakes aren’t confined to India.
Every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, has notorious killer snakes. Africa has Puff Adders and Black Mambas; America has Cottonmouths, Rattlesnakes, and Copperheads. Europe has the asp viper. South America the Bushmaster and the Fer-de-lance.
Australia has Death Adders, Tiger snakes, King Browns, and Taipans. The Inland Taipan is the most venomous snake in the world. A single bite from one of these impressive reptiles has enough deadly venom to kill 100 full grown men. No wonder most people have an innate fear of snakes – it’s one of our most common phobias.
So, there you have them – the 7 deadliest animals in the world!
Although these apex predators and deadly bugs are scary killers, the world’s deadliest creature, year after year, is actually one much closer to home – humans. Every year humans kill each other in the thousands. We devote immense amounts of time, money and energy in finding more efficient and effective ways to kill each other.
Global military expenditure increased 75% over the past 20 years. Global spending on deadly weapons reached record levels last year. We specialise in devising better ways to kill people. Over one and a half billion people have been killed in wars down through history.
Not only are humans responsible for the most human deaths, we also have no problem killing everything from plants to animals for our own benefit, on a daily basis. Our ingenuity to create ways to destroy other species, and each other, definitely puts humans at the top of the list of creatures who are very deadly.
But why? Why do we behave this way? Why do we do stupid stuff? We lie, we steal, we cheat, we cling to bad habits, we bully, we engage in violence, and of course we kill others. Why? Well, it’s all due to one thing. It’s all explained in one small three-letter word; sin – S-I-N. That’s what’s responsible for it all – that’s the root cause!
So, by far the most dangerous and deadly thing to humans are not these seven deadliest animals but rather the seven deadliest sins, which create death, destruction and despair to billions of people around the world.
Now, what do we mean when we talk about seven deadly sins? And, in particular, what is sin? Well, it has to do with contravening the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour. Sin is basically a religious term that refers to deliberately disobeying the rules of God and rebelling against Him. Here’s what the Bible says in 1 John 3:4.
“Sin is the transgression of the law.”
God’s law, the ten commandments, show us what is right and wrong. God’s law provides principles to live by. It provides moral values that govern human behaviour. Sin is breaking God’s law.
Sin had its beginning with Lucifer in heaven. He was the most beautiful and powerful angel – the head angel. But he wasn’t content with his position. He was proud and envious of God. He wanted to be higher than God, and that was his downfall – the beginning of sin.
He led a rebellion against God. There was war in heaven. But Lucifer and the angels that followed him, lost and were expelled from heaven. Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he convinced Adam and Eve to join his rebellion against God and against God’s law.
Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of the human race, and we, Adam’s descendants, have inherited sin from him. So, now, we’re all sinners – we sin, we make mistakes and do things that are wrong. Among the sins we commit are particular sins known as the Seven Deadly Sins.
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS
Now, the list of the Seven Deadly Sins, aren’t the ‘deadliest’ sins or worst crimes against humanity. They’re rather the most familiar, the most common and recurring pitfalls or sins we all deal with sooner or later.
According to Christian tradition the Seven Deadly Sins are: Pride; Envy; Anger; Gluttony; Lust; Laziness; and Greed. Each one of these sins is mentioned in the Bible and virtually every sin can be placed in one of the categories of these seven deadly sins. And although this actual list of Seven Deadly Sins isn’t recorded in the Bible, they are sins we are tempted with virtually each and every day.
These are the sins that we’re struggling with regularly. So, the big question is, how do we deal with them – these Seven Deadly Sins? Well, the Bible does give us the answer to this question. It explains how we can deal with and combat the seven deadly sins in our lives.
Firstly, we must recognise that these Seven Deadly Sins, like all sin, are literally deadly. The Bible tells us that our sins separate us from God and bring death. Here’s what the Bible says in Romans 6:23.
“For the wages of sin is death.”
Bad news – we’re doomed – because we’ve all sinned.
But here’s the good news. God loves us and sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins, to die in our place. He’s our substitute. He’s our Saviour. And if we accept Him, and believe in Him, our sins are forgiven, and we have eternal life. Listen to what the Bible says in John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Because Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins, our guilt can be healed and our sins forgiven – all our sins, even the Seven Deadly Sins. Isn’t that good news!
Here’s what the Bible says in 1 John 1:9.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Did you notice that? It says all unrighteousness or sin – including the 7 Deadly Sins.
But there’s even more good news. When we accept Jesus, not only are our sins forgiven, but He comes into our lives and changes us, and we literally become a new person. God changes us on the inside.
He transforms us by giving us a new heart. Our old heart may have been filled with the 7 Deadly Sins; filled with pride, envy, anger and greed and lust. And it may have been filled with sin and lawlessness. But God can replace it with a new heart – one that’s filled with love, peace and joy. Here’s what God says in Ezekiel 36:26,27.
“I will plant a new heart and new spirit inside you. I will take out your stubborn, stony heart and give you a willing, tender heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit inside of you and inspire you to live by My statutes and follow My Laws.”
On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sin so that we could be given this new heart. And He promises that if we accept Him, he will give us a new start in life. He will take our slate and erase all the mistakes we’ve made, all the evil and sin, and replace it with good.
God wants to see you happy and fulfilled. So, He takes an active role in creating your new heart, and brings order to the chaos and sadness in our lives. And then, everything that we have – right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start, new hope, and new energy – all come from God by way of Jesus Christ. Basically, God gives us a heart like Christ’s.
And that’s how we deal with the seven deadly sins. That’s how we combat the seven deadly sins in our lives. God changes our lives. Our hearts, our lives, are filled with God’s Spirit. God takes away the influence of the seven deadly sins in our lives, and replaces them with the fruit of the Spirit. Here’s what the Bible says in Galatians 5:22,23.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
So, let’s take a brief look at the seven deadly sins again and see how God can change them for good.
The first of the seven deadly sins is Pride — An inflated, unrealistic sense of your self-worth. But God’s way is humility, meekness, love for God and love for others.
The second deadly sin is Envy — The feeling that you deserve the possessions, success, virtues, or talents of another person. But, God’s way is love, joy, kindness, thankfulness and compassion. God places the desire to help others, above the need to supersede them.
The third deadly sin is Anger — An excessive, improper desire to exact revenge.
But God’s way is peace, gentleness, self-control.
The fourth deadly sin is Gluttony — An excessive desire for the pleasure of eating and drinking. But God’s way is self-control, contentment, and patience.
The fifth deadly sin is Lust — A selfish focus on sex or a desire to have sexual pleasure with someone other than your spouse. But God’s way is love and unselfishness. Self-control counteracts lust, by controlling passion and leveraging that energy for the good of others.
The sixth deadly sin is Laziness — Lack of effort in the face of a necessary task, causing it to go undone or to be done badly. But God’s way is perseverance, diligence and servanthood. Diligence changes laziness by placing the best interests of others above the life of ease.
The seventh deadly sin is Greed — A strong desire for possessions, especially for possessions belonging to another. But God’s way is generosity and kindness. Love cures greed, by putting the desire to help others above storing up treasure for oneself.
When we accept Jesus and invite him into our lives, he shows, tells, and empowers us to raise our standards. He encourages us to love others as we love ourselves, and to love God with all our heart, mind, body and soul. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will make better choices.
And Paul the Apostle reminds us what the criteria should be when making our choices,
“Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8,9)
God wants you to be free and happy – now and forever – and that involves making right choices. He wants you to experience the peace and inner happiness that He’s planned for your life. He wants to protect you not just from the Seven Deadliest Animals, but also from the even more dangerous Seven Deadly Sins. Jesus accepts us just as we are, and where we are. But he doesn’t leave us there. He changes our lives and leads us to a better place.
SPECIAL OFFER AND CLOSING PRAYER
If you would like to experience that in your life, then I’d like to recommend the free gift we have for all our Incredible Journey viewers today. It’s the popular classic, Prophets And Kings. This book is our gift to you and is absolutely free. I guarantee there are no costs or obligations whatsoever. So, make the most of this wonderful opportunity to receive the gift we have for you today.
Dear Heavenly Father, please replace our pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust, laziness, and greed with the fruit of the Spirit, and love for You and love for others. Give us eyes to see others as you see them. Change our hearts of stone to reflect your heart so we are content and satisfied with the skills, talents, and gifts you have given to us. When we feel hurt, offended, or angry show us how to positively deal with our pain in a way that glorifies you and honours others. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen