What would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?
Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws.
But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.
When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close to the mosquito.
What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases.
The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually.
Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.