There is little in this world that taps into our most primal fears like the thought of an animal snacking on us. Just the thought of an animal eating us sends all of our senses reeling, and our fears into overload. Why is this? I feel that it is due to our guilty feelings. We snack on them, so we must be aware that they have the same right. It is something that we all have thought of however briefly. How many animals are actually capable of the feat? More than you might think. Which are the most likely? That is the focus of this article. Here are ten animals that can eat you for breakfast.
(For the purpose of this list, animal is being liberally used. It may include reptiles, insects, mammals, fish, etc...)
Mountain lion - Mountain Lions are certainly capable of the feat, and in California and British Columbia they do so every so often. Mountain lions are supremely confident cats that do not tend to back down very easily. Your best bet if you cross one of these magnificent cats is to make yourself as large and aggressive as possible, and do not run. If you run, you may as well ring the dinner bell because it will chase you down. And it will catch you.
Reticulated Python - The reticulated python is a bit of a controversial addition to this list as it has been debated if this animal actually eats human beings. To me, any reptile that is longer than a school bus, and as thick as a tree is capable of swallowing me. Certainly it has eaten children, and is proven to be capable of killing a full grown deer and eating eat. You do the math.
Sharks - This is one of the most popular choices of animals that you might be eaten by. It would certainly make anyone's list and for good reason. This ancient predator has eaten people and in some cases hunted people. It is rare that a shark targets a human being, as they often mistake us for their regular lunch. The most dangerous sharks are the bull shark, great white, tiger shark, mako shark, and the hammerhead. Most any shark will dine on you given the chance and the right circumstances, however, so better to leave them alone.
Bears - The bear is certainly an animal that has dined on us before. Eating a human being is generally not the motivation, but it does happen. Bears are very territorial, and as such, they will protect their homes and little ones with ferocity. Black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears have all taken a bite out of us.
Tigers - The tiger is a fearsome animal that is capable of ripping us to pieces in seconds. Some tigers over the years have actively hunted human beings. Usually those animals that dine on humans are sick or dying, and unable to hunt the more elusive regular dinner menu animals. There have been some exceptions as some natives say that once a tiger gets the taste for human flesh, they do not want to stop. Scary thought, huh?
Lions - Lions are certainly king of the jungle for a reason. They are the supreme hunters, and have no natural worries of being attacked themselves. This gives the lion an almost untouchable attitude, as though they are the Godfathers of nature. If you enter any area where there are lions, then expect the chance of being eaten. It has happened and will happen again.
Alligators - Alligators are not incredibly aggressive in the way of attacking humans, but they certainly will given the right circumstances. People are killed by alligators annually, and if you swim in any body of water in Florida the possibility is there. Alligators are ambush predators and you will never generally see them coming when they decide to snack on you. Enter at your own risk.
Crocodiles - Crocodiles, unlike their more docile cousins, will eat you in the blink of an eye. The crocodile will stalk you and ambush you with one intention in mind. Eating you. They are huge reptiles that resemble the ancient dinosaurs in appearance, with a powerful body that sometimes grows to 25 feet. Think about that. 25 feet with razor sharp teeth and an attitude. That is the supreme man eater.
Leeches - Leeches are a different type of eater. They want your blood. They will latch onto a vein and hang on for dear life. Many find this to be more blood curdling than being eaten by a crocodile. Certainly it would take a ton of leeches, and your incapacity, but that would be a slow agonizing eventual death.
Mosquitos - Mosquitos are included on this list because they eat us so often. Many people minimize the danger of Skeeters, and that is a huge oversight. The mosquitos kills far more people than any of the monsters on our list above. They carry all kinds of nasty diseases, and can transplant it directly into our bloodstream while snacking on us. Remember that the next time you forget your insect repellent.
All of the animals above have the capabilities of eating us, and all are quite dangerous. None of the animals above are likely to eat us if we use some common sense when we are near their habitat. The odds of you being eaten are not even close to the odds of you dying in a car, plane, or train. You are more likely to be hit by lightening in fact. Just use common sense, and respect their territories, and you should avoid ever becoming dinner for these wonders of nature.
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Holle Abee from Georgia on January 09, 2013:
Really enjoyed the read! I'm scared of sharks - maybe because I've eaten them. lol. I'm very careful about swimming in saltwater, but gators don't scare me very much, so I'm not as paranoid about swimming in lakes and ponds. Heck, I worry more about cottonmouths! We have lots of gators here in the Deep South. Voted up!
Lolz on September 16, 2012:
Never thought of being eaten by an animal. . Until now.
dfgggg on July 03, 2012:
wow i wached soul serfer and now im seared of going deep in the water
Dawson on November 05, 2011:
Sometimes when I go to the ocean with my kids,I NEVER go in the water!
libby on October 12, 2010:
i completey agree april..but how can being eaten alive be interresting? that is would you be interrested in seeing someone else get eaten?
April on August 20, 2010:
wow. i can't imagine what it would be like to be eaten alive by an animal! well that would be a really interesting thing to see or even experience!
libby on December 11, 2009:
wow! a have always had the weird fascination/fear of being eaten while alive by a great white shrk, i really think it would hurt like hell but it would be nothing personal from the shrk, it would jus be a hungree meat eater and i would be meat,He!
hannah on September 22, 2009:
piranas would be pretty bad because they would eat ypu slowly
dafla on August 11, 2008:
I live in Florida, and once my son made me go look at a small, 3 ft alligator lying right outside a culvert pipe. He wanted to go get it. I said "See that pipe? There's a mama alligator right inside there, and trust me, she can move faster than you can." Needless to say, we did not get a pet alligator. We had one swim right up to a friend's dock when his 3 yr. old was on it. We had to have him trapped. Turned out he was 15 ft. long, and could have eaten one of us if he had wanted to. The trapper said the teeth marks on his head showed that there was something bigger than him out there.
I remember seing a show about crocociles, where several grown people had been dragged right out of their tents while camping and eaten.
I have a healthy respect for anything with that many teeth.
Ken on June 21, 2008:
If my fate was to be eaten alive and i could choose the predator, it would be lions. Simply because lions typically eat in prides, and therefore I would go quickly enough. The thoughts of being constricted to death by a python, drowned by a croc, eaten leisurely by a bear while still alive, gobbled whole by a huge shark (dying while being digested), or toyed with by a tiger before it eats me, do not appeal to me at all.
RUTHIE17 on May 08, 2008:
How about those ants that eat everything in their path. Army ants maybe? Saw them on the Nat Geo channel--awsome!!
Nothing in my neck of the woods that would eat you (OK, may Hannibal the Cannibal). Do have a couple of neighborhood cats and dogs I'm not to crazy about. And there was this one squirrel that got pretty vocal whenever you got near his tree. Other than that--think I'm pretty safe where I'm at.
There have been reported sightings of coytote, mountain lion, wolf and bear in Southern Missouri, (the Ozark region) USA. My dad lives there and he never goes anywhere on the farm without a rifle. And unless a shark or pirana makes it into the pool, think I'm OK there, too.
WeddingConsultant from DC Metro Area on May 08, 2008:
Piranas, are you kidding? They have mouths the size of your pinky and they take small nibbles at your flesh. Yes, there are a ton of them eating flesh at the same time, but a shark could devour you in a couple swallows! My vote is that a shark is faster at eating an entire human body.
Ricardo Nunes from Portugal on May 08, 2008:
Great hub! Piranas are probably the faster ones to eat an entire human being :O but I guess a shark could kill you first :D
In The Doghouse from California on May 08, 2008:
Jaws made me totally afraid to get into the water when I saw it the first time.....even a lake. lol In fact, a poor gentlemen just got attacked by a "Great White" in my neck of the woods a couple of weeks ago,and lost his life. I made my daughter promise to stay close to the shore when she went to the beach a few days later. Sharks creep me out! (Well I guess ALL the above mentioned animals "creeep me out!") Great Hub.
Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on May 07, 2008:
Your Hub Title is terrifying! Good compilation of some man-eating animals.
kerryg from USA on May 07, 2008:
My husband and I do quite a bit of day-hiking in bear country. He wants to start doing more backpacking but I've been holding off partly out of fear of becoming somebody's dinner. I know it's silly and proper precautions about storing food, etc. will go a long way towards keeping you safe, but it's still an ever-present worry.
Have you read Man-Eaters of Kumaon, about man-eating tigers? It's a really fascinating book - Corbett was a great storyteller in addition to being a great hunter.
WeddingConsultant from DC Metro Area on May 07, 2008:
haven't thought much about being eaten by an animal...until now!
MOmmagus on May 07, 2008:
Lions, and tiger, and leeches, O MY!!!! Hey you forgot ticks!! ug, i hate ticks!!! But to answer the question, yes, i have thought about what it would be like to be eatn' alive. Ooooooo, I almost forgot about canabils, like hanibal lector. ew. Oddly enough, my girlfriend who is a reptile freak and i were debating the whole can snakes eat people. I'm thinking if it can eat a dear or an aligator, why not a person??? I recommend using photobucket to add some pictures to your hub. Otherwise, thanks!!!!!