Scary animal… but not necessarily dangerous!
Snakes, spiders, sharks, wasps… all these species constitute relatively “classic” phobias among ordinary mortals. However, the majority of them are no match for the animals perceived to be the most terrifying in the world. Terrifying, yes, but harmless. Because most of them pose no danger to humans.
Johnson’s Abyssal Monkfish
Impossible to talk about the most terrifying animals in the world without mentioning the species that inhabit the abyss. Among them: Johnson’s abyssal anglerfish. Undoubtedly the best-known abyssal fish, Johnson’s abyssal anglerfish has a head twice the size of its body and long, sharp teeth. Females also possess a bioluminescent organ – which takes the form of a long spine above their nose – which they use to hunt. Johnson’s Abyssal Monkfish is also one of the blackest animals in the world! Rest assured, however, it is unlikely that you will fall on it at the bottom of the oceans, unless you know how to swim at 2,000 meters deep.
The giant spider crab
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If you are afraid of crabs and spiders, this species is (not) for you. The giant spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi by its scientific name, is a crustacean that lives off Tokyo Bay, as far as Taiwan, in the Pacific Ocean. It takes its name from its physique, which is halfway between a crab and a spider, but also from its size, which can reach 3.5 meters in wingspan. The spider crab is thus the largest living arthropod, and can weigh up to 20 kg and live to be… 100 years old! Although terrifying, it does not pose any threat to humans. On the contrary, it is Man who hunts it to consume it…
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The goblin shark
His nickname makes you smile: “shark-goblin”. While one could imagine a small miniature shark with a physique straight out of a children’s film… it is not so. The goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni of his real name, rather resembles the main character of a film by Steven Spielberg. Not Jurassic Park, the other. No wonder it is also nicknamed “goblin shark”. This shark travels the waters of the globe between 100 and 1,300 meters deep. It measures on average 4 meters, has several dozen needle-like teeth, weighs up to 200 kg, and has a long pointed snout. A bit like a unicorn, but less friendly.
The giant water bug
Trypophobes, abstain! Because the Lethocerus, known as Belostomatidae, has enough to make you lose your cool. Being able to measure 6 to 12 cm long (sometimes more) this aquatic insect – nicknamed “giant water bug” – feeds on insects but also on fish and crustaceans. If it is not aggressive towards humans, with a possible dose of panic, it is nevertheless capable of inserting its powerful rostrum into the skin. A defense system known to be very painful. What relationship with Trypophobia will you tell me? When mating Lethocera, some females lay their eggs directly on the back of the evil and can produce almost a hundred. We let you imagine what the new shell looks like once revisited.
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Probably the most troublesome species in the ranking. Physically halfway between an inedible fruit and a slightly angry snake, the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus by its scientific name, is a fish (and more precisely an agnate) that is alive and well. And it’s not his body, which can grow up to 1 meter long, that’s the scariest. Of course it’s his mouth! Devoid of an articulated jaw, it works with a very efficient suction cup system. This allows it to stick to its prey and attack them thanks to its multiple teeth. Like a leech, it can then suck fluids from its victims.
Attention. If you are arachnophobic, the phryne will not leave you insensitive. And for good reason, half-spider half-scorpion, this animal – which however belongs to the family of arachnids – has a physique that leaves no one indifferent: eight legs and two claws called “pedipalps”. According to some legends, the bite of a phryne, also called amblypyges, would be able to kill someone in just 24 hours. But it’s wrong ! Despite its large claws, it is harmless to humans! Why ? Because it has no venom! Its formidable claws are only used to hunt its prey for food.
The ogre fish
His nickname speaks for itself. The Anoplogaster cornuta, known as ogre fish, owes its nickname to its maddening jaw. Proportionally to its size – about 16 cm – it would be the fish with the largest teeth. Teeth so large that it is impossible for him to close his jaw. That is to say… But, don’t worry, this piscivorous abyssal fish lives happily ever after at nearly 5,000 meters deep. Little chance, therefore, that you meet him at the bend of a sea trip.
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The coconut crab
At first glance, the coconut crab has an almost dreamy nickname. Almost. Because we are talking here about a particularly large and powerful species of crab. The birgus latro, from its scientific name, also called kaveu, is a giant crustacean, with huge claws, living on the Polynesian island Makatea. Its weight averages 4kg, but specimens up to 17kg have already been observed. Legs extended, the coconut crab measures an average of 1 meter in wingspan. As for its strength, it would reach thanks to its enormous claws 3,300 newtons. A value 80 to 100 times greater than that of its body mass.
The Goliath Spider
A name that speaks for itself. Theraphosa blondi, known as the Goliath spider, is the biggest spider in the world! This giant spider can measure up to 30 cm and weigh almost 170 grams. It has a neurotoxic venom, but can be active in humans. Which makes it a formidable species, whose bite can be very painful, but harmless for us humans. Is that reason enough to want to get into it? Certainly not.
The basking shark
Generally speaking, sharks are all relatively terrifying. But the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is undoubtedly one of the most terrifying of them. It’s simple: open, its gigantic mouth looks like a huge bottomless pit. There is no doubt that Pinochio would have taken several decades to see the end of it if he had been swallowed by a basking shark and not by a whale! However, from the height of its 12 meters long and sometimes 5 tons, the basking shark is not a threat to humans since it only feeds on plankton and small fish.
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