The Venomous 5

The Venomous 5

There are venomous creatures the world over. However, in this post we look at the ones that are famous for being deadly. What do you think? Do you agree with the list?

1. The Box Jelly

Box Jelly

Also known as Sea wasps are very delicate creatures. To prevent other creatures from attacking them or prevent their prey from damaging them while trying to escape, they have developed some of the most deadly venom in the world. The venom is so overwhelming that humans have been known to go into shock and drown before reaching shore. The lucky survivors have been known to suffer from pain for weeks afterwards as well as severe sever scarring.

2. Inland Taipan Snake

Inland Taipan

By far the most venomous snake in the world, the Inland Taipan is also know as the Western Taipan. However, even though it is the most venomous, it is not considered the most dangerous snake in the world. That is because the snake lives in the arid regions of Australia and rarely comes into contact with humans. If it does, it is more likely to try and escape than to stand and fight. For that reason, there is a more dangerous snake on this list, albeit not nearly as venomous. To give you an idea of how venomous this snake is, with the amount of venom generally found in the snake, it is capable of killing an estimated 285 adult humans. Definitely not a snake you want to threaten because then it will defend itself.

3. Blue-Ringed Octopus

Blue Ring Octopus

One of the most beautiful creatures around, the Blue Ringed Octopus is a name given to four highly venomous species of octopi. They carry enough venom to kill 26 adult humans within minutes. The toxin is a favourite of Mother Nature, being also found in certain puffer fish and even some species of Poison Dart Frogs. The toxin is called Tetrodotoxin and is produced by bacteria inside the octopus. It works by paralysing the muscles in the victim. Studies have shown that the muscle of the octopus is immune to tetrodotoxin and that the toxin is found throughout the body of the octopus. Depending on the species, these octopi can be found throughout the tropical and subtropical zones on the pacific, from Sri Lanka to the tidal pools of southern Australia. There is currently no antivenom for the tetrodotoxin. Most victims die due to paralysis of the diaphragm muscle leading to suffocation. Treatment for the toxin is to provide artificial respiration until the victims body is able to metabolite and excrete the toxin from the body. If artificial respiration is provided, there is a good chance the victim will recover.

4. Black Mamba

Black Mamba Snake

The second longest venomous snake in the world, (After the King Cobra) the Black Mamba makes this list not because of its incredibly toxic venom. (The Inland Taipan's venom is more deadly) Instead it makes this list because of its aggression. One of the most feared snakes in Africa, death typically occurs within 7 - 15 hours after envenomation. When threatened the Black Mamba opens its mouth to reveal an inky black interior. It will also likely hiss and spread its neck much like that of a cobra. The snake is diurnal, which means its active during the day, feeding on birds, rats, hyraxes and even bats. Mongooses and Honey Badgers seem to have some resistance to the Black Mamba's venom and will sometimes eat the mamba.

5. Sydney Funnel-web spider

Funnel Web Spider

Found around, you guessed it, Sydney Australia, the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider is a fascinating creature. They build their webs in dark, dank places like under dead logs or under piles of decaying leaves and mulch. They have trip lines radiating from the opening of the trap. When an animal like a lizard or a frog move the tripwires, it alerts the spider inside the trap who rushes out and bites the prey, subduing it. The males are the more venomous of the two genders. Coincidentally the males are also the ones that are usually stumbled upon because during the warmer months they go out in search of females. The males could easily wonder into houses, swimming pools or sheds on their search. According to studies, it seems the spiders will need about 0.2 milligrams of venom per kilogram of body weight to kill a primate. This means that an adult human weight 100 kilos would need just 20 milligrams of venom to cause death. The average yield of a male Sydney Funnel-web spider is about 176 milligrams of venom. It takes an average of 28 minutes for symptoms to appear which could be excessive salivation, muscle twitching and difficulty breathing. Since Antivenom was developed in 1981 there haven't been any recorded fatalities.

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