Snakes kill 50,000 people a year, but they are not the world’s most dangerous animal. The most bloodthirsty animal on Earth is also one of the smallest: The pesky little mosquito, which during peak breeding seasons outnumbers every other animal on the planet, with the exception of termites and ants. The mosquito -- Spanish for “little fly” -- carries a host of different diseases, including often-deadly malaria and the Zika virus. Other airborne death sentences delivered by mosquitoes include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. All told, this little fly is responsible for around 725,000 human deaths every year.
Quick, grab the insect repellent:
- Malaria is a parasitic infection that is marked by chills, fever, and nausea and, in severe cases, can result in organ failure. Malaria afflicts 200 million people a year, and 600,000 die from it.
- Malaria deaths occur mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, but those numbers are dropping. The World Health Organization reports that between 2000 and 2015, 6.8 million people were saved from malaria, though there is no known vaccine.
- People killing other people amounts to the second-highest death toll on Earth, accounting for 475,000 deaths every year, followed by victims of snakes at number 3, and 25,000 rabies deaths from dog bites as the fourth-leading cause.