Top 10 Animals That Look Scary But Are Actually Harmless

Updated on July 21, 2019
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Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.

Top 10 Animals That Look Dangerous But Are Harmless

There are many different animals on this planet all with various appearances. Some of these critters seem deadly terrifying because they are just that deadly and terrifying. Yet, there are also groups of animals that look extremely scary, but are actually rather harmless. The goal of this list is to go over some of the animals so that you can better identify them. The animals on this list are as follows:

  1. Aye-Aye
  2. Basking Sharks
  3. Goliath Birdeater
  4. Gharial
  5. Milk Snakes
  6. Vampire Bats
  7. Giant African Millipede
  8. Manta Ray
  9. Camel Spider
  10. Sea Pig
  11. Bonus: Pitbull

This gremlin-looking creature is a primate found in Madagascar.
This gremlin-looking creature is a primate found in Madagascar.

1. Aye-Aye

An Aye-Aye is a particular type of lemur that many people consider scary due to its ugly appearance, but is actually harmless to humans. This animal's diet mainly consist of grubs pulled from small holes in trees created by the animals slanting incisors. The only other animal known to find its food using this method is the striped possum from Queensland. In certain parts of the world, Aye-Aye are considered to be such bad omens that they are killed on sight and hung upside down to release the evil spirit. Because of practices like these, the Aye-Aye was believed to be extinct from 1933 until 1957 when a group of them were rediscovered.

The Basking shark, is one of three plankton-eating sharks, and are completely harmless to humans, and actively non-aggressive.
The Basking shark, is one of three plankton-eating sharks, and are completely harmless to humans, and actively non-aggressive.

2. Basking Sharks

Like a lot of the animals on this list, the Basking Shark is considered scary because of its massive size and threatening sounding name. While it may be the second largest living fish on the planet—growing to be 20 to 26 feet in length—the Basking Shark's diet consists solely of Zooplankton and Phytoplankton because of its filter feeder method of eating. This aquatic animal actually received its name due to its habit of feeding close to the surface of the water, making it appear as if the animal was basking in the sun.

 The Goliath Birdeating spider is pretty harmless to humans, as are most species of tarantulas.
The Goliath Birdeating spider is pretty harmless to humans, as are most species of tarantulas.

3. Goliath Birdeater

Much like another 'spider' that will be found later on the list, the Goliath birdeater tarantula is considered to be scary due to its large size and mass. Native to the rainforest areas of South America such as French Guiana and northern Brazil, this massive spider makes his home in swampy marshes. The Goliath birdeater's color can range from dark to light brown with markings on its legs. The venom carried within this gargantuan spiders fangs has been compared to that of a wasp sting. Despite its scary name, the birdeater mainly eats worms and amphibians due to the difficulty of actually catching a bird.

Unlike crocodiles, the Gharial is known to be almost harmless to man.
Unlike crocodiles, the Gharial is known to be almost harmless to man.

4. Gharial

The Gharial is a strange-looking animal that resembles a crocodile because of its long, skinny snout. The animal's narrow snout reduces its resistance to water when hunting, which allows it to quickly whip its head around while chasing prey. This gnarly looking creature is native to the subcontinent of India and has a population of lower than 235.

The Gharial has acquired a long list of names including the ong-nosed crocodile, chimpta, mecho kumhir, nakar, and shormon. Over the past 70 years, the Gharial has steadily climbed its way towards the Critically Endangered Red List.

The milk snake's costume is all an act to scare away potential predators.
The milk snake's costume is all an act to scare away potential predators.

5. Milk Snakes

Unlike most of the other creatures on this list, the milk snake is mainly considered dangerous due to a simple case of mistaken identity. At no fault of its own, the milk snake unfairly resembles one of nature's most poisonous snakes, the coral snake. These two types of slithering animals cannot be any more different in every way except for their physical appearance. Both animals are made up of a red, yellow, and black-striped pattern yet only one is actually dangerous. An easy rhyme to help you tell the two snakes apart is "If red is touching black then it's safe for Jack. If red's touching yellow, it'll kill a fellow"

You are much more likely to die from a bee sting or dog attack than from a vampire bat bite.
You are much more likely to die from a bee sting or dog attack than from a vampire bat bite.

6. Vampire Bats

Like some of the other animals on this list, the Vampire Bat terrifies people despite its harmless nature. These bloodsucking creatures hunt when it's fully dark out by admitting low-energy sound pulses. The common vampire bat mostly feeds on the blood of mammals and humans while the other two variations mainly feed off of the blood of birds. They do this by using their teeth to create a small incision on the skin of a sleeping animal before licking the blood as it's pumps out. If the animal has fur, the bat will use its shark teeth as razors and shave away the hair from the spot it intends to bite.

African Giant Black Millipedes are beautiful, extremely docile, moisture-loving giants that make the perfect pet arthropod!
African Giant Black Millipedes are beautiful, extremely docile, moisture-loving giants that make the perfect pet arthropod!

7. Giant African Millipede

The Giant African Millipede, or Archispirostreptus Gigas, is one of the world's largest millipedes measuring to be over 15 inches long and 3 inches thick on average. The large body has approximately 256 legs, the precise number changes with each molting. This strange looking creature lives mostly in forest, but can also survive in areas that have few trees. While the millipedes is not dangerous, it is banned from the United States due to agricultural damage caused by mites that live on it's body.

he Manta Ray is harmless to humans although they belong to the same group as sharks with their cartilaginous skeletons.
he Manta Ray is harmless to humans although they belong to the same group as sharks with their cartilaginous skeletons.

8. Manta Ray

The Manta Ray is the world's largest species of Ray and can grow to be as large as 25 feet across. Because of their large size and strange appearance, the Manta Ray has also been dubbed the 'Devilfish'. Despite its scary nickname, the Manta Ray is nothing more than a filter feeder that feasts on small prey such as plankton to survive. Unlike there more aggressive cousins, Manta rays do not even have stingers.

Camel spiders became an Internet sensation during the Iraq war of 2003, when rumors of their bloodthirsty nature began to circulate online
Camel spiders became an Internet sensation during the Iraq war of 2003, when rumors of their bloodthirsty nature began to circulate online

9. Camel Spider

Due to their large size, nearly 6 inches on average, the camel spider can be an extremely terrifying sight for anyone that is not knowledgeable about them, but they are entirely nonthreatening to humans. Camel spider are not poisonous and are not actually spiders at all, despite being members of the arachnid family, according to the National Science Foundation.

Camel spiders have eight legs and two extra appendages called pedipalps which are sensory organs. Camel spiders are usually found in Middle Eastern deserts, but has also been known to live in the Southwest United States and Mexico. Despite all these misunderstood qualities, the camel spider remains practically harmless to humans.

Sea pigs are found in all the world's oceans.
Sea pigs are found in all the world's oceans.

10. Sea Pig

The Sea Pig, or more officially known as a scotoplanes, is an extremely strange-looking underwater animal that appears to be more alien than fish. These funny little creatures are the only instance of holothurians that use a form of legged locomotion to travel. They are called 'Sea Pigs' due to their thick legs and plump bodies resembling that of a farm pig. Sea Pigs commonly live on the floors of deep oceans typically at lengths over 4,000 to 15,000 feet. Scotoplanes are known as deposit feeders and eat through extracting organic particles found in the ocean floor. Many people find Sea Pigs terrifying due to their unnatural looking appearance despite their inability to harm anyone.

Pitbulls are loving and loyal despite all the rumors.
Pitbulls are loving and loyal despite all the rumors.

Bonus: The Pitbull

Like most of the animals on this list, The Pitbull has been given a bad name. Like all dogs, pitbull's learn their behavior from their masters; if a dog has a bad master, they will act badly. But on the other hand, if a Pitbull is raised with love and affection, then it will most likely be one of the sweetest animals that you have ever met.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Ricky Rodson

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    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      6 weeks ago from Maryland, United States of America

      The basking shark looks awesome.

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