In the animal world, it’s survival of the fittest. Whether anyone ever actually faces these dangerous animals or they want to know these tactics out of pure curiosity, we’ve compiled the ultimate survival guide for facing the world’s top predators.
1. Grizzly Bears
Before learning how to fend off a 1,500 pound grizzly bear, it’s important to know how to avoid an attack. The majority of grizzly bear attacks occur when a mother is defending her cubs. So if anyone sees a bear cub, leave quickly and quietly. And to be safe, stay away from grizzly-heavy areas in March and April, when young grizzlies are likely to begin exploring for the first time.
But on the off chance one does attack, resist the urge to run away. Instead, experts say that people should puff out their chest and remain completely still. If that doesn’t work, people are advised to lay on their stomach, use their hands to protect their neck, and play dead.
As uncommon as they might be, shark attacks are up there with some people’s biggest fears. And if a shark approaches, many would try to swim away on instinct. But even Michael Phelps would not be able to outswim a shark. So what should people who are far from Olympic-level athletes do?
Instead of turning away and swimming, try to stay still and avoid any splashing movements (it would be pretty difficult, we know). Just bob in the water and play dead. And if that does not work, punch. Sharks are most sensitive right on their nose and directly between their eyes.
According to The Telegraph, lions are only active for about four hours a day, but even in that short window of time they manage to kill about 250 people every single year. Hopefully you can avoid being a part of this frightening statistic with a few tricks.
First, back away very slowly while maintaining eye contact. Do not run. Lions typically will engage in some fake attacks before launching an all-out attack. So if they begin playing this game of chicken, try to make exaggerated motions and lots of noise to make yourself seem bigger. This way, a lion might just give up and decide its not worth the time. They only have four hours to hunt a day, after all.
When spotting a rhinoceros with their big, hulking bodies, one might assume that these are some pretty lazy creatures. But don’t test that hypothesis, because rhinos can run up to 56 miles per hour, and they will charge if they are provoked.
If anyone comes across an angry pack of rhinos, anyone’s best bet it to make themselves invisible to the animals. And that is actually much easier than one might assume. Rhinos have notoriously poor eyesight. So if there are any trees or large rocks around, hide behind them. Chances are high that a rhino will charge right by without seeing a thing.
Cheetahs are the fastest land mammals on the planet. They are able to run about 60 miles per hour. So it should go without saying that trying to run away from a cheetah is pretty much never going to be a successful plan. Instead, do the opposite, and do not run away.
Cheetahs will always instinctively run after something if it is running away. Experts advise that humans should back away slowly without turning their backs. Slowly go back to safety. And don’t try climbing a tree. Unlike many other big cats, cheetahs are actually able to climb to an impressive height.
Ever spot a raccoon digging through the garbage? The best thing to do in that situation is to leave it alone. If that is not an option, approaching it carefully is usually enough to make a raccoon scurry off. But when it comes to dealing with more aggressive raccoons, the best bet is actually to run away.
Raccoons are more interested in self-preservation than they are about attacking humans as prey. Their first line of defense is to run away from harm. So it is important to never, ever back a raccoon up into a corner. With no other options to run, raccoons will turn to scratching and clawing, and no one wants that.
Estimates say that crocodiles manage to kill about 200 humans each year. But the truth is that we really don’t know the official number, as countless others, especially along the Nile River, have gone missing and locals blame these dangerous animals.
And, unfortunately, there is not much that one can do if they are attacked by a crocodile. These animals are incredible predators. And they are incredibly fast both in and out of water. If anyone is being eyed by a croc, get out of the water as fast as possible. These creatures don’t usually chase, but just in case, run in a zig-zag motion to confuse them.
Think the bigger animals are more intimidating? Well, don’t count out scorpions because of their size. These extremely dangerous animals are responsible for killing about 1,000 people every single year. But people can try to avoid that terrible fate by following these simple instructions.
The biggest defense against a scorpion attack is in the steps taken before a human even encounters one of these creepy-crawlies. When traveling to areas with scorpions — including hikes in places like Arizona and New Mexico — tuck pant legs into high socks. Scorpions also love to run out of their hiding places right before it rains, so take extra precaution once the storm clouds come rolling in.
Elephants might seem like gentle giants. But get on their bad side and these easily-agitated, 12,000 pound animals can become surprisingly fast and surprisingly aggressive. So, if anyone finds themselves in a dangerous situation, it is important to be aware of some key indicators of an angry elephant.
Pay attention to an elephant’s ears. If they are fanned out, they are just trying to look intimidating. So play the intimidation game back and make yourself as big as possible. But if their ears then go back, there’s a problem. Anyone’s best bet at that point is to try to avoid their sharp tusks or try to push those tusks toward the ground.
In popular culture, we are usually used to seeing hippopotamuses as ridiculous creatures, sometimes even sporting tutus. But that’s a far cry from reality. Hippos are the deadliest creatures on the Nile River. An astounding 2,900 people are killed by a hippo every year, much more than lions or cheetahs.
According to experts, these deadly encounters usually happen when a human gets between a hippo and the water. In those cases, hippos will just begin charging. And if anyone sees a hippo looking like they are yawning, run! These “yawns” are the first signs that a hippo is about to attack.
11. Killer Bees
What’s worse than regular bees? Killer bees! Wonderful. We think that it should go without saying that the best way to avoid a swarm of killer bees is to stay as far away from them as possible. But if one absolutely must go near that buzzing swarm, there are some surprising ways to protect oneself from becoming their victim.
While it might seem to go against any instinct a person would have, the U.S. Department of Agriculture actually recommends people take off their shirt and put it on their face if they are attacked. It is important for someone’s face to be protected in this situation. And rest assured in knowing that an average adult can survive over 1,100 stings at one time, however uncomfortable that might sound.
12. Black Bears
Black bears can weigh up to 500 pounds, but their bite force can be up to 700 pounds. That basically means that there’s not really much that a black bear cannot take a giant chomp out of. So avoid being one of those chomp-able things by doing taking precautions like making sure to pack pepper spray on camping trips.
Store garbage safely at any campsite, as garbage has caused about 40 percent of recent bear attacks. But if a bear does come around camp, don’t climb a tree (trust us, they are better at it). Instead, make a lot of noise. Black bears tend to back down from fights more easily than other types of bears.
It really is no surprise that the hyenas were cast in the Lion King as being the evil ones. These creatures never look particularly fun, cuddly, or inviting. In fact, we’re just going to go ahead and say that these animals are truly the stuff of nightmares.
Anyone can avoid their own personal nightmare of getting eaten by one of these hyenas by being extremely careful. Don’t immediately run, instead back away slowly. If a hyena does attack, don’t turn away from them. Their heads are the most sensitive parts of their body, so they can be fended off by hitting or kicking in that area.
Gorillas are not creatures that are prone to attacking humans unprovoked. But if anyone ever finds themselves in a situation where they are facing down a gorilla beating its chest, it is best to give off the right vibes. Yes, gorillas do pick up on a human’s energy.
The gorilla world is all about social hierarchy. So don’t run, don’t look them in the eye, and definitely do not try to challenge or intimidate a gorilla. They will take this move as a challenge. Instead, show the gorilla that you know who is boss, and be as submissive as possible by looking towards the ground.
For many big cats, experts often suggest looking them in the eyes to help ward off an attack. But leopards are different. In the case of leopards, it is advised to absolutely never look them in the eyes. They read this body language as a challenge, and these dangerous animals will be more likely to attack.
That being said, definitely do not turn to run away. Leopards are known to attack best from behind, prompting people in parts of the world to wear masks on the back of their heads to avoid being surprise attacked. Instead, remain still and calm. And if the leopard still pounces, try to be as big and loud as possible.
While some of the dangerous animals on this list have the added benefit of being at least a little cute and fluffy, we can’t say the same for spiders. Nope, spiders are just the worst. And unlike other attacks, usually humans only notice they have been bitten by a spider during or after the fact.
But there’s still extremely important steps that can be taken to avoid disaster. First, try to either capture or take a picture of the spider (doctors say this is extremely useful). Clean the bite with soap and water immediately and use a cold compress (but don’t press down too hard or the venom will spread). Then, hop in a car and head straight for the hospital.
We’re not quite sure why the world needed a transparent, brainless creature with the ability to sting people. But for some reason, jellyfish are just something many beach-goers often have to deal with it. But painful jellyfish stings are not! Despite popular belief, there are ways to avoid the after-effects of a sting without the involvement of any urine!
Anyone with a fresh sting should, first, make sure not to rub at it. Doing so can further release the venom. Then, they should rinse off with salt water. Putting vinegar on the wound is said to neutralize the venom, along with baking soda. So we’d say try those options out first before going to more, well, let’s call them drastic measures.
18. Mountain Lions
When it comes to surviving an animal attack, we all just want to know what methods actually work. So what better way than to hear from a person who was actually attacked by one of these beasts and lived to tell the tale?
A woman named Nell Hamm spoke to Outside Online about her dangerous encounter with a mountain lion, when her husband was eventually attacked. During the attack, Hamm said that she hit the lion on the head with a piece of wood. As it turned around, she waved the wood in the air and screamed. The mountain lion was scared off, and she and her husband managed to survive.
Afraid of snakes? Join the club. Nearly everyone’s least favorite predator is one of the most feared by humans in all of the animal kingdom. But the truth is that snakes really are just as frightened of humans as we are of them.
Because of that, the best way to ward off a snake and its deadly venom is to watch your step. Many snakes only bite when they feel like someone is encroaching on them. So look down and make a lot of noise so snakes know someone is coming. Unless anyone finds themselves in a viper pit. In that case, we can’t help you.
With fangs that can reach 2.5 inches and a bite force of 1,500 pounds, these creatures are certainly a far cry from their dog relatives. Yeah, we definitely wouldn’t recommend petting a wolf in the wild, or for that matter going anywhere near one.
But if anyone does so happen to cross paths with a wolf, try not to run. Instead, it helps for people to make themselves look bigger and to make loud noises. And if that does not work, fend off an attacking wolf using anything accessible – rocks, sticks, fists, anything – and aim for a wolf’s nose, known to be the most sensitive spot on their body.
Of all the big cats one might encounter, the tiger is definitely one of the most terrifying. These dangerous animals are clever predators, and humans should avoid doing anything that would trigger one to act on its instincts. And that includes running away.
“In this case, its instinct would be to chase after its prey,” expert Frederic Edelstein told The Mirror. “If you see it coming towards you, make as much noise as you can in order to frighten it. If this doesn’t work, you should start moving your arms, but without moving away.” Tigers like to surprise their prey, so any potential prey shouldn’t give them the element of surprise.
Piranhas are the stuff of nightmares. With their strong jaws and serrated teeth, just one bite can be enough for a person to say goodbye to their toes. But while piranha attacks are not actually as common as one might think, there are simple ways to bring this statistic even further down.
Piranhas are attracted to blood and sudden splashing. So anyone entering water that may host these dangerous animals (we would rather you didn’t), make sure to cover up any open cuts or wounds and don’t make any sudden splashing movements. Sorry to break that news to anyone who wanted to swim laps in piranha-infested waters.
When thinking of a list of potentially deadly predators, usually things like lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) come to mind. But even if not, we’re going to bet that buffalo would usually not make it onto the list. But even though these animals are seen as relatively slow-moving, a bad encounter with a wild buffalo can be deadly.
If a buffalo feels attacked, they will use their horns and their hooves to attack. But unlike many of the other animals on this list, humans can actually outrun most buffalo. So run as early and as quickly as possible, and head for a nearby tree.
While some of the animals on this list come from far-off places, the coyote is one of the few that are commonplace in some parts of the United States. But have no fear, it seems that usually coyotes are more scared of humans than we are of them.
Coyotes have instincts that are more likely to tell them to run away from humans than to stay and fight. So anyone facing down a coyote is told to be noisy and aggressive so that the coyote runs away in fear. But, before a coyote encounter even reaches that point, make sure not to leave food around. Over the years, coyotes are said to have been making more human contact in hopes of getting food.
Cougars are known to be “ambush predators,” meaning that they like to stalk their prey from behind, pouncing only when their prey least expects it. So with that in mind, fighting off a cougar requires that a human does pretty much the exact opposite.
If anyone spots a cougar, the best idea is for them to let the wild cat know that they have been spotted. Do not break eye contact and, therefore, give it a moment to pounce. Instead, humans should puff their chests out and appear confident. And make sure to hike with a group. There’s intimidation in numbers.
Family Peeks Into Their Backyard, Comes Face-To-Face With Unknown Animal
A family from Alsager, England, was in for quite a surprise when they looked out into their backyard and noticed a strange creature staring back at them. While they couldn’t say what animal had invited itself to take up residence in their yard, they instantly knew this would be a morning to remember.
Gene Editing Results Give Hope For A Cure To Heart Disease, Other Illnesses
Gene editing may seem like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie to most of us, but the process has actually been around for decades; particularly in the livestock, farming, and agriculture industries. Though Gregor Mendel may have imagined a more sophisticated future for his hybrid pea plants, no one could have predicted the slicing and splicing that DNA researchers are...
The Unexpected Benefits Of Crying
Its true of just about everyone - when we’re sad, we cry. According to the researchers from Tilburg University, women cry an average of 3.5 times every single month while men cry 1.9 times. Although it’s often wrongly assumed that crying shows a sign of weakness, it’s an important reaction that is perceived as healthy and helpful. According to scientific...