In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most dangerous animals in Europe.
We have categorised the animals on the basis of both their potential and real risk, at the top of the list there are animals that might not be the most terrifying, but it should be the most threatening.
Castor Bean Tick
While there are mosquitoes and malaria in the rest of the world to worry about – Europe has it’s very own set of bug problems. Namely the Castor Bean Tick (or sheep) ticks and other unpleasant illnesses they carry. The entire reason for being a tick is pretty unpleasant; it latches on their hosts and swells with their blood until they’re ready to burst. Gross, however, this action is usually harmless to the unfortunate host, although, in some cases, in exchange for its hot-blooded meal, the sheep tick can return the favour with Lyme disease, Q fever, sick or tick-borne encephalitis.
Both of these diseases are relatively unpleasant and, without early care, severe long-term effects can occur from Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.
Portuguese Man O’War
The Portuguese Man O’War is the most dangerous jellyfish found in European waters is not a jellyfish at all. In reality, it’s not even a single animal. It’s a whole colony of tiny animals known as zooids. Often known as “floating fear” and “bluebottle” in Australia, these cnidarians are found not only in Portugal but everywhere the wind blows. The common name simply refers to their design, which is said to be a type of Portuguese warship of the 18th century.
The sting of the Portuguese Man o ‘War is understandably normal, given that sting bearing tentacles can be up to 50 metres (150 feet ) in length. It is unquestionably painful to be stung by one of these creatures, and the resulting effect would be a raised whip-like welt across the body. What makes sting, so potentially dangerous is the systemic effects of venom resulting in extreme pain accompanied by fever, shock, and reduced heart and lung function, contributing to possible death. Because this occurs in the sea, there is always a risk of drowning.
Mediterranean Black Widow Spider
This spider is a close relative of the other prominent black widow spiders and is generally known as the most venomous spider in Europe. It can be found in the Mediterranean countries and as far as Kazakhstan, where it is known as the steppe spider.
As with other members of the Latrodectus group, the Black Mediterranean widow has a potent venom. Its initial bite may feel like a pinprick, but it may turn into extreme pain. In some instances, symptoms such as sweating, muscle spasm, breathing difficulties, rapid heart rate, nausea, and vomiting can occur. These cases need to be taken seriously because they can, in exceptional circumstances, prove fatal.
It seems that camels are less fortunate when it comes to being bitten by these spiders. In Kazakhstan, where these black widow spiders are known as “Karakurt,” there have been a number of incidents of camels dying after being bitten.
Located around the Arctic Circle, the wolverine has a legendary reputation for ferociousness. While they are around the same weight as a mid-sized dog, these stocky little super-badgers have ample strength to take prey several times the size and weight. There’s a storey about a wolverine killing a polar bear while they were out in the same zoo area together. The wolverine went directly to the throat of the polar bear and held on until it suffocated. With storeys like this, there’s little doubt that a wolverine could kill a man.
It’s not just the strength of the wolverine that makes it such an effective predator. It’s also the apparent lack of fear that they make up for in pure ferocity. Once committed, they will fight to the point of death, which is usually the other animal.
The wolverine is not too weak when it comes to natural weapons either. Each has remarkably strong jaws capable of crunching bones or slicing through frozen meat. Their oversized paws not only function as snowshoes, but they carry a set of equally oversized and sharp claws. Although these may not be adamantium like his Marvel counterpart, they are definitely powerful weapons.
You certainly won’t be surprised to learn that Europe is close to the bottom of the global list of snake threats, much after Antarctica. There are really no snakes here that have enough venom to kill all the mice in the world or anything like that. In fact, however, there are a few truly dangerous snakes, all of which belong to the viper family.
Asp (or aspic) viper is potentially the most deadly snake in Europe. This is found in southwestern Europe and, like with most vipers, has a sophisticated venom delivery system; large retractable fangs that are hollow, injecting the prey like a hypodermic needle.
It is predicted that if about 4 percent of the bites are left untreated, they will prove fatal. Even though most people survive bites, they are highly painful – severe pain radiates out of the bite as the area swells and often becomes almost black. Other symptoms may include hemorrhagic necrosis (vascular blood breakdown) that may affect the eyes, causing severe visual impairment. Damage to the kidneys may also occur, possibly leading to death.