What is the animal that kills the most people in the world?

Movies like ‘Jaws’ and others referring to fearsome animals with sharp teeth have propagated the image of some species as enemies of the human being. In fact, a 2015 survey by the Ipsos agency revealed that approximately half of Americans declared themselves “absolutely terrified” of sharks. However, according to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History, in 2021 there were only 11 shark deaths on the entire planet. A person is more likely to die from a falling coconut on their head than from a shark attackaccording to the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

So what is the species that causes more victims among humans? The animal that causes the most deaths is another much smaller, fragile and apparently irrelevant: the mosquito. And it is that these insects can transmit potentially fatal diseases such as malaria and dengue, and the World Health Organization estimates that mosquitoes that transmit these diseases kill 725,000 people a yearaccording to the newspaper USA Today.

Mosquitoes carry many dangerous diseases, such as chikungunya, dengue, lymphatic filariasis, Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, Zika, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile fever, reports the WHO. Other insects, such as fleas, lice, and ticks, also carry similar diseases.

Mosquitoes are the animals that kill the most people Pixabay

Mosquito deaths are more frequent in some regions than in others. For example, African countries account for about 96% of malaria deaths, according to the WHO. And although these are eminently tropical diseases, climate change and global warming are gradually driving them towards southern Europe. Spain, for example, is a place where the transmission of these diseases will become more and more frequentas the Peninsula became a more favorable habitat for these mosquitoes.

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However, there are other animals that stand out when it comes to causing human fatalities. According to the ranking published by Discover Wildlife, these would be the main ones:

  • Freshwater snails: 200,000 deaths per year

  • Saw-scaled viper: 138,000 deaths per year

  • Miscellaneous insects: 10,000 deaths per year

  • Scorpions: 2,600 deaths a year

  • Ascaris roundworms: 2,500 deaths per year

  • Saltwater crocodiles: 1,000 deaths a year

  • Elephants: 500 deaths a year

  • Hippos: 500 deaths per year

Now, USA Today, when commenting on this fact, asks the question: Do humans kill more than mosquitoes?

Bill Gates’ blog recently published a graph showing that humans kill 475,000 humans a year, while mosquitoes kill 725,000. This publication unleashed a strong controversy in the networks, which led to a verification of the facts by the US information portal Vox, which came to the conclusion that humans should occupy the first place in such a lamentable ranking.

Reference article: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2023/02/02/what-animal-kills-most-humans/7878440001/


Contact of the Environment section: [email protected]

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