When most people think of deadly animals, they tend to focus on larger species like bears and alligators. While those can certainly be a threat, and should always be treated as such, the animal that is most likely to kill you may be much smaller, and even something you encounter on nearly a daily basis.
The people over at Man vs. Beast gathered some statistics, shining a light on the deadliest animals in each state. The information is based on records from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and clearly shows the level of risk based on where you live.
First, they developed a map that demonstrates your odds of being killed by an animal, period. Those in Montana have the highest risk of being killed by an animal, with a 1-in-674,600 chance, while residents of Massachusetts can rest a bit easier than the remainder of the nation with odds of 1-in-8,184,535.
Then, they show which animal-related cause of death is “above the national average” in each state, showing which threats should be given the most attention.
Spiders are only a top threat in Tennessee, while snakes are a big deal for California and Georgia. A point of surprise for many, Illinois and Missouri actually have the highest risks for death by reptile.
Across the country, the animals that are responsible for the most deaths are large mammals, like deer, horses, and cows, with 1,094 deaths reported over a 16-year period. They are somewhat closely followed by bees, hornet, and wasps, with 831 reported deaths.
After that, there is a pretty notable drop off. Being bitten or struck by a dog caused 316 deaths. After that, everything else falls well below 100 deaths.
When examined individually, deer are actually the deadliest animals. However, most of these are based on accidents that occur during contact, such as a deer causing a car crash, and not necessarily from direct attacks.
For some perspective on the risks, the research also shows you are more likely to be killed by a cone snail, a highly venomous creature, than a rattlesnake, copperhead snake, wolf, coyote, or a coral snake.