The ocean covers a vast portion of the earth with large sections still unexplored, so it should come as no surprise that it could potentially be a source of danger to visitors. There are some intriguing, but also dangerous, species in the world’s oceans. Here’s just a small sample of the aquatic animals who call the ocean home.
Great White Sharks
One of the largest predators in the ocean, the Great White shark, is also one of the few animals at the top of the food chain. These beasts can often grow in excess of 15 feet long, and on average, weight 5,000 pounds.
Their size doesn’t hinder them, though, as they can travel up to 15 miles per hour in open water. Great White sharks have 300 razor-sharp teeth. These teeth go hand in hand with their exceptional sense of smell. Most Great Whites can smell a single drop of blood three miles away. These massive sharks are well known thanks to Hollywood films such as “Jaws.”
Many readers might be unaware that there are 60 different species of sea snakes in the ocean with several dangerous ones in the mix. Some of the most venomous sea snakes can be found off the coast of Australia (no surprise), near the Great Barrier Reef.
On average, these snakes grow to be between four and five feet long. As is true for snakes that predominately traverse land, sea snakes also do not have gills and need to come up for oxygen. In most cases, sea snakes will not wander too far from the coast. This increases the likelihood of a run-in with humans.
The lionfish is easily recognized by its distinguishing zebra-like stripes. This carnivorous fish has sharp needles riddled with venom. The lionfish has an estimated lifespan of 15 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
The fish may not kill you with a single encounter with its sharp needles, but its sting has been described as one of the most excruciating pains a person can experience. If encountered in open waters, the lionfish could create a serious problem for someone far from any source of medical attention.
As we look at Australia once again, which will be a trend with this list, the Saltwater Crocodile reigns havoc on land and sea. These prehistoric beasts can grow up to 17 feet long and easily weigh a 1,000 pounds.
Crocodiles have been known to eat anything they can get a hold of — including humans. Marine biologist have seen a saltwater crocodile kill a large shark deep in the water. In many cases, a crocodile will drag its prey down into the depths of the water to drown it first. For an animal that isn’t considered to be the smartest, it has been reported that it does seem as if they known the difference between land prey and sea prey and hunt accordingly.
When you think about dangerous water animals, jellyfish don’t often come to mind. But the box jellyfish is not an ordinary jellyfish. For starters, the box jellyfish is a carnivorous animal.
These can grow to 10 feet long and normally live for only a year or so in the wild. Their short lifespan doesn’t mean they won’t put up a fight if cornered though. According to Listland, a single strike from the box jellyfish could result in 5,000 stingers into the prey. These jellyfish can see and actually swim unlike the average jellyfish that is typically blind and simply drifts aimlessly in the ocean.
Famous animal activist and conservationist Steve Irwin’s death was attributed to this silent killer. Stingrays are seen throughout the world in shallow waters and, for the most part, are not perceived as dangerous.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, though. Stingrays belong to the shark family as they can sense prey around them with electrical sensors. The most dangerous part of the stingray is its infamous tail. The tail, which is attached along the creature’s spine, contains barbs that can seriously injure anyone they hit. And if the tail hits any vital organs, the possibility of death from the strike increases substantially.
While many of these ocean inhabitants are dangerous, there is typically little to fear as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and use a little common sense.