The Amazon is indeed one of the world's most diverse ecosystem. Having the largest tropical forest and largest river, it is a thriving home to monstrous creatures and creepy crawlies. From venomous centipedes, spiders, and snakes to gentler but scary-looking arapaima, caiman, and piranhas, the Amazon hosts a variety of animals that the world has ever seen. To have a close look, here are 15 most terrifying animals living in the Amazon.
Giant otters are among the largest mammals in South America. They reside exclusively in the Amazon, as well as the surrounding waterways. One of its fearsome attributes has to do with its efficient killing ability. In fact, it has the ability to kill and eat caimans and anacondas! How about that?
Oh yes! Bull sharks exist in the Amazon! They stand out as one of the most aggressive sharks today. The fact that they love shallow water pose a hazard to anyone taking a dip. If you don't find that scary, then know that bull sharks have the ability to grow to 11 feet long and are one of the three shark species that bite humans. The other two are tiger sharks and great white sharks.
The diet of the mighty jaguar comprises of 87 different animals. From mice to deer, this big cat is definitely opportunistic when it comes to hunting habits. It can instantly kill any human that wanders across its path.
Living throughout the South American continent, green anacondas are primarily found in rivers, marshes, and swamps. That makes the Amazon a perfect residence for these vicious reptiles. Green anacondas can weigh up to 550 pounds and reach up to 30 feet in terms of length. On land, they don't pose much of a threat since they can't move fast due to their weight. But when they're in water, these snakes are able to move at a fast speed. After finding their prey, they ambush, utilize their strength, and size to kill.
This centipede tops the list of largest insects alive. Their gigantic size (1 foot long for adults) correlates directly to its creepy factor. You can find the mammoth critter scurrying around the floor of the forest close to the Amazon River. The centipedes hunt small mammals, amphibians, and lizards that reside near the water. In addition to their nightmare-inducing size, these centipedes can inject venom to their victims by utilizing their sharp claws on their head.
As tiny as they can be, house spiders scare many people. Now imagine coming face to face with a big spider that as big as an average-sized puppy, who wouldn't run away? Such eight-legged freaks exist in the guise of goliath birdeaters, which are the world's heaviest tarantula. They weigh up to 6 ounces and reach up to 5 inches in terms of body length. This huge spider mostly burrows underground and comes out at night to look for prey. Its prickly hairs can cause skin irritation for several days.
Piranhas are among the most feared fish across the planet. They can tear the flesh of any animal within minutes, but that only happens when they are starving. Oftentimes, they feed on smaller fish, as well as insects. Still, you can't overlook their needle-sharp teeth and scary image. Did you know that as much as piranhas are scary, they make great pets at home? Oh yes, they do! If you'd consider purchasing one, read more about the price of piranhas here.
Even though many people know them as the electric eel, this fearsome creature actually goes by the name knifefish. Because of their distinctive physiology, they have the ability to produce electricity from their organs. Their electric shock can hit intensities close to 600 volts for a number of milliseconds. As much as that can't kill you, they can deliver a numbing sensation and an intense pain.
Also known as the vampire fish, the payara features a large mouth that is studded with fangs, roughly 6 inches long. According to researchers, this fish can grow as long as four feet. Fortunately, the payaras eat smaller fish, including piranhas, and they're long, sharp teeth are only used to stab or catch their prey.
Known as the largest species in the alligator family, the black caiman can grow up to 20 feet long. But its length is not the only you thing you should be afraid of. It is considered to be one of the deadliest animals living in the Amazon River because it ambushes its prey (even people) in the water. Black caimans use their dark skin to blend in the environment and attack their targets when without any warning. That's how aggressive and dangerous these alligators are.
Candirus are only millimeters in length, but their minute size makes them terrifying. They are a parasitic fish, which can get in through to the gills of a bigger fish and feast in it. Although there aren't too many reports of candirus entering the human body, it is still best to be careful while swimming in the Amazon River.
This is a huge fish that resides near lakes, swamps, and basins of the Amazon. It reaches 9 feet long and can weigh up to 440 pounds. The creepiest characteristic about the arapaima is that it breathes air. Because it spends plenty of time on the water surface, it has a taste for the birds, which get too close to the shore. The arapaima has powerful jaws and exceptional strength.
Poison dart frogs have bright-colored skin, which protects them from predators and makes them look unappealing. But don't be fooled by their colors because these tiny frogs are deadly. Some of its species have a very lethal poison that can kill 10 persons.
While it's only 3 inches long, the tyrant king leech is undoubtedly a creature you don't want to mess with. It utilizes its big teeth to cut through the flesh, as it makes holes to suck blood. It primarily targets the openings of the body, including rectum, vagina, penis, ears, nose, and eyes. Once it gets inside the body, the leech can survive for several weeks. How terrifying can that be?
The Guinness Book of Records opines that this is the most venomous spider in the world. The good thing is that an effective antivenom exists to counter its toxic venom. But as much as possible, it's best to keep a distance from this ferocious arachnid.
The Amazon rainforest ecosystem is home to weird yet important animals. It provides a habitat for different kinds of creatures that make the forest alive. Although some of them are really terrifying, these animals coexist with one another. If one of them is harmed (like hunted until they no longer exist), it affects biodiversity and disrupts the balance of the ecosystem.