10. Cape Buffalo
Cape buffalo, which number around 900,000 and are found in sub-Saharan Africa, are a relatively mild (hoà nhã, hiền hoà) species when left alone, preferring to travel in massive herds (bầy, đàn) to graze (ăn cỏ) in early morning and late afternoon hours or to gather around watering holes to stay hydrated. However, if an individual (or its calf) is threatened (bị đe doạ) or wounded (gây thương tích), they become the incarnation (sự hoá thân, hiện thân) of their nickname: Black Death. Reportedly responsible for killing more hunters on the continent (lục địa) than any other creature, these behemoths (con vật khổng lồ), which can grow up to nearly six feet tall and weigh close to a ton, circle (bao vây) and stalk (theo dõi) their prey (con mồi) before charging at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. They’re even known to continue charging no matter where they’re injured, and will not hesitate (ngần ngại) to attack moving vehicles. You don’t want to mess with those horns (những cái sừng).
9. Cone Snail
Found in the warm waters in the tropics (vùng nhiệt đới) (think the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Indonesia), these beautiful creatures, instantly recognizable for their highly prized brown-and-white marbled (cẩm thạch) shells, can be seen in shallow depths (vùng nước nông) closer to shore, near coral reefs (rặng san hô) and rock formations, and beneath (bên dưới) sandy shoals. But do not dare to touch the 4- to 6-inch long gastropods: their concealed, harpoon-like “teeth” contain a complex venom (hợp chất nọc độc phức tạp) known as a conotoxin, making them one of the most venomous species of snails. If you suffer the unlucky fate of becoming one of the handful of people ever stung (bị châm, chích, đốt), head to the emergency room immediately, as there is no antivenin (thuốc giải). The toxin (chất độc) stops nerve cells (tế bào thần kinh) from communicating with one another; so the creature not only causes paralysis (bệnh bại liệt) within moments, but, per its nickname of “cigarette snail, " affords you about enough time to smoke a stick before you die.
8. Golden Poison Dart Frog
The poison dart is a large, diverse (đa dạng) group of brightly colored frogs that live mostly in northern South America, of which only a handful of (một ít, một vài) species are particularly dangerous to humans. The most deadly, the golden poison dart, inhabits the small range of rain forests along Colombia’s Pacific coast, and grows to around two inches long (roughly the size of a paper clip). Its poison, called batrachotoxin, is so potent (độc) that there’s enough in one frog to kill ten grown men, with only two micrograms—roughly the amount that would fit onto the head of a pin—needed to kill a single individual. But what makes the amphibian (loài lưỡng cư) especially dangerous is that its poison glands (tuyến nọc độc) are located beneath its skin, meaning a mere touch will cause trouble. Little wonder the indigenous (bản xứ, bản địa) Emberá people have laced the tips of their blow darts used for hunting with the frog’s toxin for centuries. Sadly, deforestation (nạn phá rừng) has landed the frog on several endangered lists, but even if you do have a rare sighting when hiking, don’t go reaching for it.
7. Box Jellyfish: Often found floating (trôi nổi) (or moving at speeds close to five miles per hour) in the Indo-Pacific waters north of Australia, these transparent (trong suốt), nearly invisible invertebrates (động vật không xương) are considered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the most venomous marine animal (động vật biển) in the world. Their namesake cubic frames contain up to 15 tentacles (xúc tu) at the corners, with each growing as much as 10 feet long, all lined with thousands of stinging cells—known as nematocysts—that contain toxins that simultaneously attack the heart, nervous system, and skin cells. While antivenins do exist, the venom is so potent and overwhelming that many human victims, of the hundreds of reported fatal (tử vong) encounters each year, have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure (suy tim) before reaching shore. Even if you are lucky enough to make it to the hospital and receive the antidote (thuốc giải), survivors can sometimes experience considerable pain for weeks afterward and bear nasty scars from the creature’s tentacles.
6. Pufferfish:the globe, especially around Japan, China, and the Philippines. Though they’re the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet (after the golden arrow dart frog), they’re arguably more dangerous as their neurotoxin, called tetrodoxin, is found in the fish’s skin, muscle tissue, liver (gan), kidneys (thận), and gonads (tuyến sinh dục), all of which must be avoided—when preparing the creature for human consumption. Indeed, while wild encounters are certainly dangerous, the risk of death from a puffer fish increases when eating it in countries like Japan, where it is considered a delicacy known as fugu and can only be prepared by trained, licensed chefs—even then, accidental deaths from ingestion occur several times each year. The tetrodotoxin is up to 1,200 times more poisonous than that of cyanide, and can cause deadening of the tongue and lips (tê liệt lưỡi và môi), dizziness (chóng mặt), vomiting (buồn nôn), arrhythmia (rối loạn nhịp tim), difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis and, if left untreated, death.