What's trying to kill you in countries around the globe
Think you've got a leg up on other travelers because you know a trip to Australia, where everything's trying to kill you, is basically a suicide mission? Well, we've got more places that'll leave you in a panic -- sh*t is out to get you everywhere.
DEER -- Pennsylvania
Who'da thunk these peaceful, doe-eyed creatures are America’s number one (four-legged) killer? These dummies like to hang out on highways, causing about a million car accidents in the US each year, of which up to 200 are fatal.
Save yourself: Don't brake for Bambi when you've got a bullbar; attach the metal device to the front of your car and keep on driving.
ELEPHANTS -- India
These SOBs are the world’s largest terrestrial animals, and weigh up to 15,000lbs. There're 500 deaths by elephant each year, 100 of which are in India.
Save yourself: Elephants, like humans, are especially dangerous when drunk. Nat Geo calculated it would take about a half gallon of ethanol to make one tipsy, so avoid elephant dive bars that serve by the bucket.
HIPPOS -- Africa
Hippos aren’t hungry for humans, per se, but they kill almost 3,000 people in Africa every year. They're super territorial, alarmingly fast swimmers, and, running nearly 20mph, will smoke you on land, too.
Save yourself: Your best bet is to outdistance them -- they may be quick, but they get tired fast.
POLAR BEARS -- Russia
With their muscular structures designed for strength, polar bears have been known to scoop 500lb seals out of the water like it ain’t no thang. They also have 6" talons, and 42 teeth (including 1.5" canines capable of crushing bones). Whereas brown bears often maul a person and then leave, polar bear attacks are predatory and almost always fatal.
Save yourself: DEAD -- PLAY DEAD.
COUGARS -- California
Also known as mountain lions, these guys're more closely related to domestic cats than the king of the jungle. That doesn’t mean they aren’t ferocious: they’ll eat any animal they can get between their fangs, from insects all the way up to prey that’s over 1,100lbs. There're 80 attacks in North America on record over the last 20 years, half of which have been in the Golden State.
Save yourself: Remember that movie, with the little fearless boy who put some bark on his head to make himself look all big and grown-up? Do that.
SCORPIONS -- Mexico
We all know to stay away from these unholy beasts, which can kill a human with a single, incredibly painful poke. But scorpions like to chill around people, meaning you’re most likely to be bitten in your own home. Call it revenge for their cousins trapped at the bottom of a tequila bottle, but scorpions kill 3,000 people a year in Mexico.
Save yourself: Jump on a chair and scream like a girl while batting at them with your shoes -- we won't judge.
JELLYFISH -- the Philippines
These spineless, pulsating blobs full-o-poison kill hundreds of people a year, and between 20 to 40 in this country alone. If you're stung by a box jelly, say your goodbyes -- an immediate medical evacuation to Australia's your only chance at anti-venom.
Save yourself: They may laugh at your full body swimsuit, but you'll have the last chuckle when you pee on their sting. You know, to disinfect it.
GREAT WHITE SHARKS -- Australia
This massive dolphin, which can weigh around 2,400lbs, will shred you to bits with its 222 steak-knife-sharp teeth. Who needs lasers -- these ocean killers are equipped with an actual sixth sense enabling them to detect the electromagnetic field emitted by… anything that moves. There're around 70 attacks a year, and while the US has the highest rate, Australia’s home to the most fatalities (30%).
Save yourself: The only reason we can think of why you'd voluntarily dip as much as a toe into sharky waters is to try surf skiing, so use those poles!
MOSQUITOS -- Africa
Annoying at the best of times, these bastards kill between 660,000 and 1,000,000 people each year by spreading diseases like malaria and dengue fever. While most of those fatalities're in Africa, mosquitos have been known to survive in any environment -- from volcanic craters to arctic areas. They'll outlive us all for sure.
Save yourself: Finally, a SkyMall product that's good for something; save yourself with their 120-hour portable mosquito repeller.
VAMPIRE BATS -- Venezuela
As you might assume, vampire bats drink their victims' blood whilst they sleep. These rabies-carrying flying rats have caused at least 132 deaths since 1932, most of which in Venezuela, where they’re most commonly found.
Save yourself: Uh, garlic, maybe? A wooden stake? Burqa-inspired PJs?
AMERICAN CROCODILES -- Florida
As an apex predator, nothing can hurt these big guys aside from armed humans, or even bigger crocs -- which is why they defy the food chain by eating everything from fish and snakes to wild boars, dogs and calves (and probably also polar bears, sharks, and cougars). Between their crushing (1,000lbs) weight, their lethal chompers, and powerful tails, an average of five Floridians are attacked annually. In May 2006, however, crocs killed three in the space of one week.
Save yourself: Run like hell, in a zig-zag pattern; this reptile’s tiny legs leave him unable to master quick turns.