Special Report

The World’s Deadliest Animals

Source: solarseven / iStock via Getty Images

20. Shark
> Est. annual deaths: 6

The United States has consistently led the world in the number of unprovoked shark attacks, with 33 confirmed bites, equalling 58% of the world’s total, in 2020. At least that’s slightly down from the pre-pandemic 2019 total of 41 cases — 64% of cases worldwide.

19. Wolf
> Est. annual deaths: 10

As documented in its 2021 report, the Wildlife Society found evidence of 489 wolf attacks around the world between 2002 and 2020, in only nine of which the victims died. Most of the attacks involved rabid wolves. In the United States, deadly wolf attacks are rare, with only two fatalities this century.

18. Jellyfish
> Est. annual deaths: 40

Worldwide, about 150 million people are stung by jellyfish each year, and hundreds die, though rarely in the U.S. Stings can be painful, and in the case of stings from the box jellyfish — found predominantly in the Indo-Pacific and off the shores of Australia — deadly.

Source: DikkyOesin / iStock via Getty Images

17. Tiger
> Est. annual deaths: 50

Tigers are, relative to their numbers, the deadliest of the big cats, mainly due to their proximity to humans in Asia. They attack when provoked and can become man-eaters if they’re too disabled by wounds or disease to take down wild prey.

16. Bee
> Est. annual deaths: 60

It would take 1,000 bee stings to kill the average adult, or 500 to kill a child. For people who are allergic to bee stings, however, a single sting can be deadly without immediate treatment.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.