There are a lot of ways to kill and be killed in the animal kingdom, but only a lucky few use the powers of venom. This toxic tribe includes species of snakes, spiders, scorpions, snails, jellyfish, bees, and even a few weirdo mammals. Clearly, not all of these animals are closely related, so how did they acquire the same defenses? Where did venom come from, and how does it work? Also, you’re curious, I bet: just what animals can kill you the quickest? But do you really want to know? Really? [Intro tune Sci-Show] Just like birds, bats, and bees all have wings but are found in very different places on the tree of life, so, too, are our venomous friends; a good example of convergent evolution: where diverse animals evolve similar features separately at different points in time. Members of the Cnidarian phylum, like anemones and sea jellies, are by far the oldest venomous creatures from 500 to 700 million years old. Scorpions and centipedes have been around for at least 400 million years, making them the oldest venomous land lineage. And venomous snakes share a common ancestor with venomous lizards, like the gila monster and the komodo dragon, whose toxic ways go back some 200 million years. Venoms didn’t just some out of nowhere; they all evolved through the mutation of protein genes. Some venoms are closely related to digestive enzymes, like those found in saliva, while others are more similar to immune system proteins, designed to fight off invading bacteria. Although there are loads of different venoms in all sorts of crazy animals, they seem to mostly fall into two broad categories: those that attack neuron receptors, and those that mess with the blood’s ability to clot. These are the two best ways to chemically kill something quickly, which is why all venoms are similar, whether you’re an octopus or an ant. Yes, there are venomous octopuses. Venom is technically different from poison. Poison must be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed, whereas venom is always injected via fangs, spines, beaks, tails, or tentacles. Venomous creatures brew their own toxins, while some poisonous creatures acquire them from the environment which is something I’ll get back to in a minute. Now, it’s time to discuss who the biggest, baddest, most deadly toxic avenger of the animal kingdom is. Well, the answer is that we really can’t say for sure. There are just too many variables in species behavior and physiology and environment to say authoritatively who is the deadliest of them all. But we do know that certain animals have acquired the most devastating combination of toxic potency and quantity of poison delivered in a single strike. The Australian box jellyfish, for example, is no doubt one of the most venomous creatures on Earth. This ancient bad larry has a body the size of a beach ball that trails about 60 thin 3 meter long tentacles, each equipped with millions of nematocysts, harpoon-like mechanisms that spring on contact, injecting venom into its victims. Those little things are a pretty amazing adaptation. After all, if you’re a gelatinous blob lacking both tooth and claw, you can’t just blob your prey to death at risk to your own fragile jelly body. You have to totally immobilize it before it before it can struggle. And the venom that the box jellies carry is one of the most powerful concoctions known. A cocktail of neurotoxins, which mess with the nervous system; cardiotoxins, which try to shut down your heart; and dermonecrotic chemicals that kill living flesh. Just rotting zombie flesh. When a swimming human is unfortunate enough to be stung by one of these blobs, the venom can cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Two things you don’t want to have happen to you. In fact the stings are so intensely and immediately painful that victims often go into shock and drown before they even ever reach shore. And while you’re avoiding beach balls that you’re not familiar with at the beach, don’t be picking up pretty shells willy-nilly, either. Cone snails, found in warm waters all over the world, have extraordinarily long venom glands, like tiny transparent harpoons that can pierce a wetsuit and inject you with the world’s fastest acting venom. Which you may not actually even feel because it also contains a pain killer. Most venomous creatures produce one or just a few toxins, but the cone snail has up to 100 different toxins in its arsenal, each designed to target different parts of the nervous system. For example, tests on lab mice have shown that one component causes tremors in mice, while another puts them to sleep. It’s possible that cone snails can produce so many different types of toxins because they can duplicate their genes faster than any known organism in the animal kingdom. This fast and continuous turnover of their venom genes basically throws their defense mechanisms into evolutionary overdrive. So, now you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Well, I’ll just avoid the ocean completely, and I’ll be safe, right?’ Well, think again. Over 100,000 people worldwide die each year due to bites from one of the more than 600 species of venomous snakes on Earth. Snakes prove that having the most powerful toxin doesn’t always make you the most dangerous. For example, banded sea kraits, found in tropical Indo-Pacific waters, have incredibly potent venom, but they’re shy and docile and not likely to attack humans. Whereas puff adders, vipers found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, have weaker venom, but are more aggressive and have killed lots and lots and lots of humans. King cobras, found in Southeast Asia, are the world’s longest venomous snake, reaching lengths up to nearly 6 meters! Which is terrifying! And can unleash enough venom in a single bite to bring down an adult elephant in a few hours. Why? Why do you have that much venom? What are you gonna do with an elephant? And yet, the king cobra’s venom pales in comparison to that of the Australian inland taipan. Largely recognized as the most venomous snake on the planet, their venom is loaded with taipoxin, the most lethal known serpentine neurotoxin, along with a dash of protease enzymes to help digest proteins, and procoagulants, which interfere with blood clotting. But while the inland taipan’s venom is record breaking, it’s a shy snake and nearly all recorded bite victims have been pushy herpetologists, who were really kind of asking for it. Relax, they had the antivenom. While the next creature is technically poisonous and not venomous, it’s also amazingly potent, so we had to include it. Meet the golden dart frog. Found in the Amazonian rainforest, these 5 centimeter, psychedelically-colored frogs secrete the most powerful animal toxin in the world: an extraordinarily poisonous alkaloid called batrachotoxin. It’s at least 20 times more deadly than any other poison frog species’ poison, and about 250 times more potent than strychnine. Alkaloids are complex, bitter organic bases typically found in certain seed plants. Morphine, nicotine and caffeine are all types of alkaloids that distinctly affect humans who consume them. Now, batrachotoxin is an insanely potent neuro- and cardiotoxin, which means it sucker punches you in your brain and in your heart, which are both very important to being alive, quickly stopping the transmission of nerve impulses, and leading to near immediate paralysis of vital muscles, like the heart. The frogs use their poison solely for defense against hungry birds, but indigenous tribes, long ago, learned how to exploit this deadly resource by dipping their arrows in the poison, hence the name dart frog. A drop of this juice is so potent that a dipped dart can remain deadly for 2 years. [Whisper]: 2 years… Now, what’s especially interesting about the dart frog’s poison is that it comes from the animals’ diet. Wild frogs eat a specific diet of beetles, termites, and especially alkaloid rich ants, which make them poisonous. The same frogs raised in captivity are typically fed fruit flies, and their toxicity drops over time, losing their mojo like Popeye eating iceberg lettuce. And how could I talk about toxic animals without mentioning a spider? Well, meet their venomous king: the hairy, hand-sized Brazilian wandering spider. Called “wandering” for its tendency to rove around at night. During the day, these guys hide under logs and in clusters of bananas. They’re on a perpetual walkabout, and not just in Brazil. In 2005, one turned up in England when it crawled out of a fruit bowl full of imported bananas, and bit some poor chap right there in his kitchen. He was fine, after a week in the hospital. Unlike many spiders, these guys are pretty aggressive, and use modified forelimbs that act as fangs to inject their venom into anyone who honks them off or looks good to eat. The neurotoxin, PhTx3, is one component of the venom. It overstimulates serotonin receptor sites on nerves throughout the body, causing intense pain. Meanwhile, the juice gets to work on paralyzing your muscles, which can be especially problematic when your diaphragm freezes up, leading to asphyxiation. Luckily, there is an antivenom, if you can find a dose quick enough. If excruciating pain and the threat of death weren’t enough, this spider’s venom has another bizarre side effect for men: it triggers the release of nitric oxide, which can cause priapism. That is a intense, involuntary, and painful erection that can last for hours. Yup… And the odd silver lining to this, of course, is that scientists are now studying the way that the venom works, in hopes of coming up with alternatives to Viagra. So, the fact is, these natural poisons aren’t all bad. Lots of medical research is being done today to explore the potential healing powers of venom. New studies are looking at snake venom to treat arthritis, scorpion venom to fight brain cancer, and the golden dart frog’s alkaloid toxins for use as a pain reliever stronger than morphine. Just goes to show that the German renaissance alchemist Paracelsus had it right when he famously said: “There are no poisons, only poisonous doses.” That, folks, is how you take lemons and make lemonade. Special thanks to Dr. Frye of the University of Queensland for his help with this episode. And thanks for watching this episode of SciShow! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter, or, of course, down in the comments below. And if you want to keep getting smarter with us here at SciShow, you can go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe. [Sci-Show outro music] [Silence]

The Most Venomous Animals in the World
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100 thoughts on “The Most Venomous Animals in the World

  • September 18, 2018 at 7:23 am
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    Yeah, we can, and do say…Chironex fleckeri, no question to date. It should be renamed The Death's Head Jellyfish…💀💀💀

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  • September 18, 2018 at 6:54 pm
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    So just never go outside, and you’ll be good

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  • October 7, 2018 at 10:20 am
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    "… a dipped dart can remain deadly for two.. years" my brain was waiting for you to finish off the alliteration with the word "days". Beautiful sentence

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  • October 13, 2018 at 2:04 am
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    I'll take a box of the boner spiders to go!

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  • October 13, 2018 at 10:39 pm
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    Are you Flowey

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  • October 13, 2018 at 10:49 pm
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    Snakes are the most deadly. They're so adorable you'll forget the venomous ones are venomous and pet them, then keep petting them till you die.

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  • October 17, 2018 at 8:17 am
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    why dont we use cone snails pain killer in surgery

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  • October 24, 2018 at 3:18 pm
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    Why does Hank look like he is high

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  • November 12, 2018 at 6:50 pm
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    "But do you really wanna know?? Really???" Yep. I sure do.

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  • November 16, 2018 at 7:59 am
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    Why I want to know?

    Just in case ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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  • December 7, 2018 at 5:41 am
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    Of course, humans are so inferior we automatically attempt to make a viagra alternative out of fatal venom

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  • December 17, 2018 at 8:11 pm
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    Why did I watch this?

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  • December 21, 2018 at 6:00 pm
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    As Clint from Clint’s Reptiles says: venomous animals kill you when they bite you; poisonous animals kill you when you bite them.

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  • December 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm
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    So you got it wrong about how mutations work. Mutation is a loss of information in the DNA. So there is no way to prove what you said about convergence evolution. Although the creation is amazing!

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  • December 30, 2018 at 9:26 am
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    "… Losing their mojo like Popeye eating iceberg lettuce."

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  • January 3, 2019 at 11:53 am
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    out of all snakes the one you dont want to take a bite from the MOST well, the two, are the west african gaboon viper and the boomslang, gaboon injects 200-300mg of venom up to 2 inches deep into flesh and the boomslang…makes you bleed from every orifice on your body

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  • January 4, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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    it is octopi

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  • January 8, 2019 at 3:47 pm
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    What about the platypus?

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  • January 9, 2019 at 1:05 am
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    she sells sea shells by the sea shore

    then she picked up a cone snail and falls asleep

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  • January 9, 2019 at 7:28 am
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    Why does the camera keep doing those weird close-ups

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  • January 12, 2019 at 12:48 am
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    Is the gaboon viper going to be there? Havnt watched yet.

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  • January 13, 2019 at 5:53 am
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    Hank is such a babe

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  • January 20, 2019 at 4:44 pm
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    I found the image of the King Cobra cute… For some odd reason

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  • January 20, 2019 at 7:53 pm
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    https://www.reddit.com/r/copypasta/comments/ahz7wj/omg_omg_omg_taken_from_rteenagers/?utm_source=reddit-android

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 6:26 am
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    Venom comes from the darkest depths of hell.

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  • January 27, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    But do you really wanna know?….Really??

    Reply
  • February 1, 2019 at 12:45 pm
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    Could you do a video about the strangest reactions humans have to certain venoms, surely a spider giving you raging erections isnt the only whacky reaction we have

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  • February 15, 2019 at 6:57 am
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    Interestingly, although anemones are venomous, humans are completely immune. If you touch an anemone, it will stick to your finger. That’s because it has just stung you thousands of times, but it can’t affect you.

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  • February 20, 2019 at 7:06 am
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    Straya mate ^^

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  • February 23, 2019 at 1:06 pm
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    It’s Sydney wandering spider one person died in 15 minutes.

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  • February 24, 2019 at 6:10 pm
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    Late to the party…2019. A few months ago I had a surgery and the Docs used a new nerve block that was derived from jellyfish venom. Post-op should have been an excruciating experience, but with the nerve block I felt nothing for three days. Really didn't get full feeling back for about a month, which was fine with me.

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  • March 1, 2019 at 10:19 am
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    I wonder how lionfish weigh into this. Do they have a rather weak Venom?

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  • March 5, 2019 at 5:18 am
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    Soo.. you rub the dart on the frog, kill the animal you want to eat.. Why don't you die from eating the now-toxic meat?

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  • March 10, 2019 at 11:19 am
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    The ultimate formula

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  • March 13, 2019 at 9:11 pm
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    Indoors
    indoors
    iiiindooooors

    Reply
  • March 14, 2019 at 11:50 pm
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    your neck is redunk

    Reply
  • March 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm
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    well at least i know what'll put me out of my misery after listening to this voice and dumb gesticulations

    Reply
  • March 22, 2019 at 12:54 am
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    #1 love scishow wathching for years and listen every day on my way to work …#2 love that you gave a thanks to dr frye at the end he is one bad a** intelligent dude

    Reply
  • March 29, 2019 at 3:00 am
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    Vid is BS. My mother in-law isn’t on the list.

    Reply
  • April 10, 2019 at 2:20 am
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    why isn't my ex in this list?

    Reply
  • April 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I actually own Phyllobates Terribilis – Golden Poison Dart Frogs.

    Reply
  • April 18, 2019 at 7:19 pm
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    Personally, I think the devs should nerf venom attacks.

    Reply
  • April 21, 2019 at 3:54 am
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    We should just avoid earth in general…

    Reply
  • April 27, 2019 at 11:01 pm
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    Question: what is the most venomous animal in the world?
    Answer: we don't fully know.

    Well, then.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2019 at 7:56 am
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    Actually the brasilian wandering spider isnt the most vemonous spider. There are several species of the brasilian wandering spider (phoneutria) and only one of them has a vemon which is made to defend against pirimates (phoneutria nigriventer). The no1 spider when it comes to venom is the australian atrax robustus but there is an antivenom to them.

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 3:55 am
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    I guess I am dyslexic because I read golden fart dog😖

    Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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    IVE TIPPED MY ARROWS WITH THE VENOM OF THE BRAZILLIAN WANDERING SPIDER SNAKE

    Reply
  • June 6, 2019 at 7:13 pm
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    I'm still thinking about Steve irwin

    Reply
  • June 7, 2019 at 12:03 pm
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    The Australian (of course) Funnel Web Spider ,is according to most sources the most leathal. Their bite is excuruciatingly painfull, they are large ,agressive , and are fond of hiding in shoes and boots .Prior to the discovery of an anti venom , their bite was invariably fatal.As far as I know they don't give you a raging boner, so you don't even get the consolation of impressing your mortician .

    Reply
  • June 11, 2019 at 5:34 am
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    For those petitioning to change name of Brazilian Wandering Spider to Banana Boner Spider, sign below.

    Reply
  • June 11, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Theres also The Irukanji jellyfish

    Reply
  • June 12, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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    Asian mail orders brides.
    Deadly.
    From observation of my loser male relatives.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm
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    Octopus are also venomous.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm
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    D A N G E R N O O D L E !

    Do not boop, or you will get the hurt juice.

    Reply
  • June 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm
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    * has pain killer * why cone snail. Why

    Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 12:52 pm
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    That weirdest and probably the oddest venomous animal is the duckbill platypus. It's a freak of nature with a spur on it's hind leg and has what has been described as the most Painful 24 hours ever? Australia is a country that just wants to kill you from the world's deadliest snake jelly fish,spiders ants and of.course great white shark .

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 6:34 pm
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    We're looking into ways to give men hard ons, but give no shits about helping people with mental illness or how to battle HIV/AIDS. Good job science.

    Reply
  • July 19, 2019 at 6:45 am
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    You did a great job researching this and presenting these amazing creatures. Too bad you missed one of the most important facts that is unknown to most toxicologists, as well as the general public. That is that all toxins cause damage by increasing oxidative stress, without exception. And so they can all be cancelled by introducing enough ascorbate ("vitamin C") into the body asap.The ascorbate ion donates two electrons to any damaged tissue suffering from depletion of electrons or the toxins themselves, thereby cancelling the toxicity. One of the best places to read about this mechanism in detail is in Dr. Thomas Levy's book "Primal Panacea." Of course ascorbate provides many more benefits besides this effect and they are all explained in detail in Levy's well referenced book. What an enormous benefit you could have provided to all mankind with your website if only you had gone that extra mile to tell your readers what could save their lives in an emergency.

    Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 3:11 pm
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    No, I don't really want to know, I just enjoy being taught things by you.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm
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    Hank is the best

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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    I didn’t see the rock fish here

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 2:33 am
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    What about daddy long legs (spiders, not that tall pimp!) ?

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    Where's Olivia??.. she's way more cooler & so much prettier.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 1:39 am
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    Dr. Fry….
    Is he French?

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 8:06 am
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    I just got an erection after seeing that sexy spider, wait, is this how it works, right?

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 6:41 am
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    so if dart frogs get their toxin from alkaloid rich ants, doesn't that make them the most toxic animal instead?

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 8:10 pm
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    CHECK THE STATISTICS >> FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME TILL NOW PRESENT DAY >> HALF THE PEOPLE EVER BORN HAVE DIED FROM MOSQUITO BITES. YEP HALF THE PEOPLE EVER BORN.THEN TILL NOW DIED FROM SKEETER BITES.

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 5:38 pm
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    The snail 🐌. That's the worst next to box jelly
    .that's it! Cone snail. Its like I read your mind!

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 10:04 pm
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    "…..a chap got bitten in his kitchen…." Exactly what part of the body is referred to as the "kitchen?"
    (I need to know as I was just bitten and I want to be as accurate as possible when I call 911….)

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 6:49 am
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    AUSTRALIA….

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 9:56 am
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    I think if you consider everything Including speed, The fact that there is no such thing as a dry bite to them and the amount of venom they release then surely the Black Mamba is the most dangerous animal on earth

    Reply
  • August 22, 2019 at 12:55 pm
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    Yes i want to know. Tryna know when to grab and when im wasting my time. Also. We should advocate some octopis ability to kill people. Dude was out here playing with a blue ring like nothing was wrong

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 3:05 am
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    Maybe you should call this videos most venomous animals in Australia and maybe other parts of the world

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  • August 23, 2019 at 7:19 am
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    Bruh, we wanna know EVERYTHING That's why we came here.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 2:14 am
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    You are annoying bro

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    What a nut case religionist (convergent evolution?) It is not enough to just know it must be from the position of knowing it all.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:23 am
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    The cobra in the thumbnail looks chill

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:27 am
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    5:08 Why that cobra was smiling

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  • August 27, 2019 at 6:05 am
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    that quote really resonated with me as I sucked down my 17th cone of the day

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  • August 27, 2019 at 7:32 am
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    You shouldn't have a most poisonous compilation without mentioning the blue ringed octopus, they're tiny. only about an inch across, but they can kill an adult male in 20 minutes.

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  • August 27, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Hehehe, his face was cute when he started talking about the involuntary painful erection. 😂

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  • August 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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    I learned at medicinal chemistry that captopril (kinda ACE-inhibitor anti-hypertension drugs) got from snake's venom

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA VOOOOOOODDDDDDDOOOOOOOOOOO MAGIC

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    dummy

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 3:03 pm
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    Its pretty amazing jellyfish are so complex, considering they have no brain

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  • August 30, 2019 at 7:37 pm
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    What one snake will say to another

    we are venom

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 1:59 am
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    i bet that if this guy does mutliple videos at one, he gets really tried after the recording is finished, this is such a high energy channel

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 5:27 pm
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    Moral of the story don't mess with snakes and other things if your stupid then ya go ahead

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 5:28 pm
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    You should have mentioned the black mamba because one bite can kill you in 30 minutes

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 6:39 am
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    What makes it even more scary is that the cone snail doesn’t have an anti-venom

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  • September 5, 2019 at 8:51 am
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    Women, has to be No.1

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 9:28 am
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    enom

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 11:49 am
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    You can't do a most dangerous list, without the Black Mamba.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 8:16 am
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    5:05 "Human, what do you mean you use my venom to cure my venom"

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 12:04 am
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    I'm gonna just stay inside in my suit of medieval armor

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 1:41 pm
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    Yes I really want to know…. so I can stay away from them,dummy

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 11:17 pm
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    A cocktail of neuro toxins……sounds delicious

    Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 4:49 am
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    There are some aquatic mollusca that acquire nematocysts from venomous things they eat, thereby gaining a venomous ability from their environment.

    Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 6:01 am
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    my ex is most poisonous animal in this world. she left me.

    Reply

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