The world is full of animals of all shapes, colors, and sizes. Some are dangerous with long sharp claws and jaws that snap close with so much force they could break bones.

All those weapons are pretty clear to the sight, giving us the warning to keep a safe distance. Others are more discreetly armed with toxic cocktails hidden beneath skin layer, tentacles, or their entire body.

You can usually tell which animals to stay away from, judging by how big and fast they are.

Unless you know what you’re doing, you must avoid making direct contact with animals like snakes, bears, crocodiles, scorpions, big cats, and alligators, to name a few.

They have that aggressive menacing look, so you know to steer clear even without warning. But not every dangerous animal has a face that only its mother could love.

You probably wouldn’t think of a mute swan as a deadly creature, for it has a majestic look or slow loris as a potential threat because it is like a small ball of fur on a tree.

Appearance can be deceiving. These animals prove that a display of cuteness doesn’t always mean they’re friendly.

10 /10 Poison Dart Frog

More than 170 species of poison dart frogs and most of them have shiny bright, colorful skins.

While they look beautiful in pictures, those bright colors are meant to ward off predators in the wild. Beneath the frogs’ eye-catching appearance are some of the most toxic cocktails in the animal kingdom.

Wild golden poison frog is the most toxic of its kind. Each produces about a milligram of batrachotoxin, which does not sound like much indeed, but enough to kill ten people or 10,000 mice. Once it enters a person’s bloodstream, death could occur within three minutes.

9 /10 Blue-Ringed Octopus

An adult blue-ringed octopus measures only 20 cm in length and weighs from 10 to 100 grams. The skin is covered with an intriguing ring-shaped pattern colored blue.

Despite its small size, the sea creature carries a toxic cocktail that contains a potent neurotoxin.

Envenomation triggers a series of paralysis throughout the human body, leading to respiratory failure without immediate treatment.

Its bite is painless, which means many victims do not realize venom’s injection until paralysis begins. Blue-ringed octopus carries enough poison to kill more than two dozens of adult humans within minutes.

8 /10 Leopard Seal

Just like its feline siblings on land, the leopard seal sits high on the marine food chain. The only animal known to hunt the animal for prey regularly is a killer whale.

While there have been cases of sharks eating leopard seals, they don’t happen that often and are more likely driven by desperation on the sharks’ part.

Attacks on humans are rare, but there is a documented case where a leopard seal dragged and drowned a marine biologist in Antarctica in June 2003.

Leopard seals may be cute, but they’re aggressive and big enough to launch a deadly attack when threatened.

7 /10 Fire Salamander

The rare European fire salamander looks like the smaller real-life amphibian version of the “Toothless” character from the How to Train Your Dragon film series.

Of course, a real salamander has neither wings nor fire-breathing ability despite the name.

Children and adults like fire salamanders because of their two-tone color, dominated by black and sprinkled with either bright yellow or orange accents.

It is generally an ook-but-don’t-touch affair as the venom secreted through the skin can irritate.

When threatened, an adult fire salamander can squirt poison from its eyes; if ingested, then venom can cause respiratory paralysis.

6 /10 Cassowary

Significantly few birds convey a “don’t even think about touching me” message as clearly as a cassowary does. An adult cassowary can grow nearly 2 meters tall and weigh from 55 to 76 kg.

One might be tempted to pet the flightless bird as its head and neck develop brilliant feathers of striking colors.

Much of cassowary’s height is made up of its heavy muscular legs. Ornithologist Ernest Thomas Gilliard once wrote that the cassowary’s inner toe is fitted with a murderous nail that is long and powerful enough to disembowel a person.

5 /10 Mute Swan

A swan species known as Cygnus olor (mute swan) is white with a long neck that is habitually held in a graceful S-shape. Its bill is orange with a black base.

An adult mute swan has a wingspan of nearly 240 cm. The mute swan is less vocal than other species; it lacks in noise and makes up in aggressiveness. 

In 2012, Anthony Hesley was attacked by a mute swan at a pond just outside Chicago. The animal knocked him out of his kayak, and when he tried to swim ashore, it aggressively blocked his way. Hesley died of drowning.

4 /10 Slow Loris

Found in South and Southeast Asia’s forests, slow loris might look adorable with its wide eyes and white fur. At the size of a small domestic cat, the primate appears to be harmless for the most part.

A bite from slow loris is, however, no joke. Glands in their armpits produce noxious oil; they lick those glands and mix the oil with saliva to concoct venom stored inside grooved canines.

Injected venom causes the victim’s flesh to rot away. It would be a grisly painful bite followed by horror.

3 /10 Bottlenose Dolphins

We all can agree that bottlenose dolphins are smart animals trained to aid fishers, entertain the audience, and help find sea mines,

They’re intelligent creatures and have been known to rescue people from danger in the waters too. If you must interact with bottlenose dolphins, the only way to do it is with respect.

In 1994, alone bottlenose dolphin named Tiao was subjected to severe forms of harassment by a group of swimmers who attempted to restrain it, stick an ice cream cone to its blowhole, and pour beer into its mouth. Tiao killed one of them.

2 /10 Pufferfish

Tetrodotoxin is one of the most toxic poisons found in nature. Pufferfish is one of few animals to carry the substance. There are 120 species of pufferfish worldwide; almost all contain tetrodotoxin.

In many parts of the world, pufferfish is considered a delicacy. Unless the chef is specially trained to handle the fish, the dish may contain a large amount of tetrodotoxin.

Symptoms of envenomation may include loss of consciousness, salivation, numbness, vomiting, and respiratory failure, leading to death.

1 /10 Box Jellyfish

In the Philippines alone, some 20 to 40 people die from box jellyfish sting every year. Bear in mind that in many countries where box jellyfish are found in the wild, death certificates are not required, so the fatalities are most likely underestimated.

Biological booby traps known as cnidocysts are covering the tentacles of a box jellyfish.

Darts filled with poisons can substantially increase blood pressure and eventually stop the human heart. It is among the most explosive envenomations known to humans.

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