Animals that most frighten people with their appearance

Lots of people are scared of something: going to the dentist, taking tough tests, or big storms. For some, it’s animals. They might be scared because animals come out at night, can make you sick, or might sting or bite you. And some are just huge predators with sharp teeth!

Even if these animals aren’t really dangerous, it’s hard to use logic to get over the fear. Some people are scared of things that might sound funny, like peanut butter sticking to their mouth, balloons, chopsticks, or even the color yellow!

But when a fear like this gets really serious, it’s called a phobia. When someone has a phobia, they might feel their heart beating fast, sweat a lot, feel sick, dizzy, or have trouble breathing. They might even worry about going crazy or dying. The good news is, almost all phobias can be treated.

Brown bear

The Klitschko brothers may be boxing champs, but the brown bear is the undefeated heavyweight champ in the animal kingdom. Standing at 10 feet tall on its hind legs, it’s the biggest predator around. Even though it weighs as much as a small car, it can zoom at 31 mph, leaving Olympic sprinters in the dust.

Bear attacks are rare

Getting attacked by a bear is no joke. Their bites and swipes can cause serious injuries or even death. But don’t worry too much, bear attacks are pretty rare. Bears usually steer clear of humans and only get aggressive if they’re provoked or protecting their babies.

How to stay safe?

If you’re wandering around in places where bears live, you might be given little bells for your ankles or told to make noise by talking or singing loudly. This lets bears know you’re coming, and they’ll usually hightail it out of there before you even get close.

Gray wolf

Wolves often get a bad rap in stories. You might remember them as the big, scary villains in fairy tales. Their howls on dark nights can send chills down your spine. And then there’s the idea of werewolves, humans that turn into wolves when the moon is full. But don’t worry, that’s just make-believe!

Wolves are fast and skilled hunters. They can zoom at speeds of up to 40 mph and work together to take down big animals by biting their sides, necks, and throats. But here’s the good news: wolves don’t hunt humans.

Are wolves scary?

Nope, not really. There’s never been an official report of a healthy wolf attacking a person for food. But just like any animal, if a wolf is hurt or feels threatened, it might defend itself.


Imagine taking a swim in the Amazon River surrounded by hundreds of piranhas. Scary, right? But are they really as dangerous as they seem, especially if you have a small cut and there’s blood in the water?

These 12-inch-long fish are predators, and they’re fast. They lock onto their prey, swim lightning-quick to them, and take a bite, tearing off a piece of flesh with a shaking movement. Piranhas are famous for being aggressive, but they’re not as big a threat to humans as you might think. Why is that?

The piranha myth

One reason piranhas have such a scary reputation is because of a famous report by former US President Theodore Roosevelt back in 1914.

A small part of the river was blocked off with nets, and thousands of hungry piranhas were put in the water. Then, a sick, old cow with a bleeding wound was placed in the river. Can you guess what happened next? The piranhas attacked and killed the cow, but this wasn’t a usual situation.

In reality, the local South American natives don’t swim in waters where piranhas live. They know that piranhas are mostly interested in dead animals and act like a sort of “environmental police”, cleaning up the area by getting rid of diseased animals.

Great white sharks

Did you know that more people die from falling off chairs or getting shocked by broken toasters than from shark attacks? But even with these facts, the fear of Great White Sharks is huge.

Imagine two tons of muscle and teeth swimming your way, it’s enough to make anyone nervous.

The truth is, only a few out of the 360 types of sharks are actually dangerous to humans. And most shark bites are just “test” bites because, from below, a human on a surfboard can look a lot like a yummy seal to a shark.

Bees and wasps

When you’re outside enjoying a nice drink in the summer, you’re likely to have some company, probably not the friendly kind, though. Instead of friends, you might find yourself surrounded by uninvited bees and wasps who want a taste of what you’re having.

They buzz around your juice box, your glass of soda, and the yummy cake on your plate. While their stings can hurt, they’re usually not deadly for most people.

Allergy alert!

But for someone with an allergy, getting stung can be really dangerous, even deadly. In the USA, there are some bees called “Africanized honey bees”, also known as “killer bees”, that are especially aggressive.

When these bees feel threatened, they don’t attack alone, they bring their whole crew with them. While a regular bee might not usually chase you, killer bees are different. They’re persistent and won’t give up easily. It’s not uncommon for one person to get stung up to 500 times by these bees.

Mice and rats

Mice and rats are animals that are often more scared of us than we are of them. But when we see them, we tend to run away in a hurry.

These creatures eat up over 40 million tons of food every year, which can be a big problem, especially in cities. While they’re mostly harmless, rats, in particular, can spread some really nasty diseases, which is why they’re so feared.


When the sun goes down, cockroaches come out from their hiding spots to hunt for leftover food, especially in garbage bins.

You might find them sneaking into restaurant kitchens, munching on whatever they find. But here’s the scary part: they spread all sorts of nasty stuff like mold spores and diseases such as typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis B, and polio.

Tough to kick out

Cockroaches are tough cookies. They can survive for up to nine days without a head (they eventually die from thirst and hunger). And if you’re trying to kick them out, good luck, they can squeeze through any hole bigger than 0.62 inches (1.6 mm).

These little critters are also speedy. In fact, they’re the fastest crawling insects around and can easily keep pace with a person walking quickly.


Hey there! Forget about Dracula, let’s talk bats. They might look spooky hanging upside down in caves, and they often show up in scary movies as blood-sucking villains. But here’s the truth: they don’t actually bite humans for blood. That’s just a story!

Out of nearly 1,000 types of bats, most of them, 997, to be exact, eat insects, nectar, small animals, birds, frogs, and fish. Only three types are into blood, but they don’t go after humans. Instead, they snack on cows and horses. And don’t worry, they don’t drain them dry, they just take a few sips and call it a meal.


Slithering and sometimes hissing, snakes can be pretty scary. Some have venomous fangs that can make you sick if they bite you. A lot of people are really afraid of snakes, that’s called ophiophobia.

But here’s something to remember: only about 10% of snakes are venomous. Still, they manage to harm a lot of people, around 30,000 every year! Most snakes don’t want to hurt humans, but some can get aggressive and bite if they feel threatened.


Imagine you’re relaxing on your balcony, reading a book, when suddenly you feel something tickling your arm, it’s a spider!

These little eight-legged critters can really startle you with their surprise appearances. And lots of people are really scared of spiders (that’s called arachnophobia). But did you know there are different kinds of spiders, and not all of them are something to worry about?

Which spiders are actually dangerous?

Don’t worry too much about wolf spiders and tarantulas, they’re not dangerous. The ones you need to watch out for are the Sydney funnel-web spider and the Brazilian wandering spider. They can give you a nasty bite! Then there’s the black widow, which can also give you a painful bite and make you feel sick with fever, headaches, and nausea.