Snakes, spiders and bugs, oh my! Many things in nature have evolved, as a way to protect themselves or to hunt, that nasty, evil fluid we call venom.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Animals You didn’t know were Venomous
Be it in their mouths, their butts, or their claws, so many creatures from invertebrates right up to things that may or may not be a mammal have developed the ability to inject us with venom that can do anything from rot our skin to liquefy our organs with a single dose!
Those unlucky enough to receive a bite or a sting from venomous creatures can suffer anything from a little swelling to death, and every extravagant, showy horror in between. None of us are truly safe from the hollow fangs of natures wrath, and since the only options for coping with this knowledge are endless terrified screaming or developing a definitely healthy and not at all concerning fascination with natures most morbid aspects, I vote we do the later, and jump right into learning about the 10 most horrific, painful venoms nature has in store.
There’s a tale I heard when I was a child about the Brown Recluse spider that goes something like this: a little girl has her hair done up at the salon in intricate, looping braids. One day she starts complaining of headaches, which get so bad that she can’t stop crying, so her mother takes her to the emergency room to get her something for the pain and find the cause of her headaches.
The doctors begin to undo her braids to see if there is a physical cause, and, according to the legend, her whole scalp come off in their hands! The doctor, shocked and horrified, drops the scalp and hair on the floor, and a colony of Brown Recluse spiders pour out of the braids, having been living in her hair the whole time and biting her scalp, causing it to rot away.
While this story is nothing more than an urban legend, the effects of the Brown Recluse spider’s bite are quite real.
Their venom contain’s a protein that cause your tissues to turn against themselves and rot from the inside out, starting at the area around the bite. Once the rot has started (in about 2-3 days since the bite) the only option is to cut out the rotted area, sterilize the wound, and get a skin graft.
Better hope it takes!
Cobras are funny looking little snakes, aren’t they? They have a hood, which they flare out when they’re upset, and they can supposedly be charmed by playing a flute (if Hollywood is to be believed). Some people even find them to be adorable, and long to raise them as pets.
What’s not funny or adorable, however, is what their venom can do to you. Firstly, the Cobra doesn’t even have to bite you in order to envenom your poor, mortal body. A Cobra in good health and a bad mood can instead spit their venom into your eyes from up to 6 and a half feet away! The venom doesn’t just blind you when it hits your eyes, it also hurts!
Even worse yet, if it gets into your bloodstream (either from the spitting or through a traditional bite), you have maybe 30 minutes to get help or you’ll die of suffocation. Cobra venom, it turns out, has a novel method of killing the poor unfortunate soul stricken with it: the venom binds itself to the receptors in charge of moving your diaphragm (the muscle that moves your lungs), basically preventing it from receiving orders from your brain to move. If as little as 1/3rd of the receptors are compromised, you stop breathing…and die choking.
Did you know that there are fish that can kill you, painfully? Not sharks or anything with teeth, I’m talking about a simple, lowly, kind of ugly fish that creeps along the ocean floor known simply as the Stonefish because it, well, looks like a stone.
Mistaking it for a rock is exactly what this crime against nature wants you to do, of course, so that it can sting you to death with its horrible spines. Should you, by chance, step on one of these, you’re in for an excruciating death out there in the deep blue sea.
Stonefish venom, through a mechanism scientists apparently don’t fully understand yet, releases a protein into your blood stream that is similar to Cobra venom. However, instead of just suffocating you like a decent, God-fearing venomous fish, the Stonefish wants you to suffer for your crimes of stepping on it barefoot, and suffer you will! The Stonefish not only suffocates you by shutting down your lungs, it also causes intense pain, seizures, extreme muscle spasms, heart damage, and then paralysis. Then you drown, because you can’t swim to shore. You know, because of all the paralysis and seizures.
Speaking of venomous fish, the Lionfish has recently invaded a tropical beach near you, and is looking to impale your unsuspecting feet with its terrible spines.
Although not as deadly on its own as the Stonefish, the Lionfish will still attempt (and succeed in) wringing a few gallons of tears out of its victims. Depending on how many spines they stab into you, these beautiful but oh-so-mean fish will leave you in pain, sweating heavily, struggling to breath and, if you’re really unlucky (having swam into a school of them, perhaps, or stepped across the entire length of one), you may suffer temporary paralysis.
Then you drown! Again!
Everything in the ocean is just waiting for a chance to kill you.
Luckily for us, unlike the Lionfish and the Stonefish, you have to be really, really deep in the water to come across one of these jerks, but if you do, the trade-off is that the immediate consequences are much more terrible.
If you were to find yourself stuck by the many terrible and sharp spikes of the Crown Of Thorns (which have been recorded as being able to puncture diving suits and gloves) you will experience immediate debilitating pain, followed by significant bleeding and swelling.
While normally the symptoms resolve themselves in anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, if you’re unlucky enough to get a heavy dose of the venom you could be in for numbness, throwing up, a severe headache and, in very rare cases paralysis yet again.
If you get paralysis, you probably won’t drown, since you’d be diving and thus have an oxygen tank. Then again…you might drown!
Scorpions are the worst, right? Caught somewhere between a crab and a spider, with just enough snake thrown in to keep things fresh, these little jerks scuttled right out of humanity’s nightmares and into the waking world to terrorize us. Mostly for their own amusement, I would assume.
The Arizona Bark Scorpion is the worst of the worst, both in their looks (seriously, these things are hideous) and in their venom. While most scorpions are mostly harmless to humans besides causing a little bit of pain and a welt on par with receiving your yearly flu shot, the Arizona Bark Scorpion, should it decide to use its venom on you, can do you a great deal more damage than you’d imagine from a nearly blind bug the length of a worn down Crayola crayon.
The venom of an Arizona Bark Scorpion can cause severe pain, swelling, numbness, frothing at the mouth, and difficulty breathing, as well as convulsions, twitching, and sometimes even stops your breathing.
Venomous lizards, it turns out, are actually pretty rare. The Gila Monster is one of those rare lizards, who at some point in their evolution decided that being a snake with legs and extra teeth just wasn’t enough to really drive home that they’re literally a monster and hate anything decent and good in the world.
Although Gila Monster venom is comparatively mild, the way its delivered is horrific. Unlike the common venomous snake, Gila Monsters don’t posses hypodermic teeth. Instead, the venom drips through grooves in their terrible little lizard fangs.
In order to really get that toxic spit into your system, the Gila Monster not only bites, it chews on whatever part of you it latches onto, often flopping back and forth to tear the wound so it can really smear the venom around on your meat. The venom itself is also incredibly painful, and there’s no known antidote for it.
Its never caused a fatality in a human, but you’re definitely going to suffer.
Surprisingly enough, the Black Widow spider is actually very docile, for a horrid little murder bug. In order to get a bite from this strangely pretty creature, you have to really provoke it. When you do, however, you’re in for a very, very bad time.
The Black Widow has some of the most potent venom in the arachnid world, in concentrations high enough to kill a healthy adult human with a single bite, and the way it kills is positively horrifying.
The bite releases a toxin into the blood, and from there the nervous system, that completely hijacks your nerves. Within minutes of a bite, you no longer have control of your body, and you get to experience first hand what rigor mortis is like as your muscles repeatedly clamp down in painful, seemingly never-ending waves of full body cramps that can last up to 24 hours even with treatment,
You can recover, of course, given that you get medical help in a timely manner, but those unlucky few who don’t die a horrible, horrible death.
Wow, that is one massive wasp! The Tarantula Hawk is a frightening hulking beast of a bug, given its name because it hunts and eats (and lays eggs in) tarantulas. Yes, tarantulas, the massive, hairy spiders with great big fangs. These wasps eat those. Terrifying! I don’t like it!
The real terror, however, comes not from what they can do to other bugs, but from what they can do to you, a human being. While their venom isn’t deadly, it is so painful that a single sting can incapacitate a human being. According to Justin Schmidt, the worlds foremost expert on painful bug bites and stings (he allowed himself to be stung or bit by just about anything and recorded the results) the only thing you can do if one of these stings you is lay on the ground and scream until its over.
What on God’s green earth is the Platypus doing with its biology? Its got hair, but also a beak, it lays eggs but also produces milk, yet somehow simultaneously has no nipples. Now, as if all of that wasn’t enough, we must contend with the fact that these mix-and-match Frankenstein animals have half-inch spurs on their tiny little feet that produce venom.
Not just any old venom, either, but the most long lasting and painful venom in the animal kingdom!
According to people who have been spurred by an angry platypus, the pain is immediate, completely devastating, and unending. Worse yet, no painkiller can be used against it. Not even morphine can stop the pain, nothing works to stop it except the complete deadening of the affected area by anesthesia.
The muscles in the effected area will also wither away, and you’ll find yourself shivering, sweating, and throwing up from the pain and the venom.
Worst of all is that this excruciating pain lasts for up to 3 months. You’ll suffer, vomit, and be crippled by pain every day for 90 long, long days.
You won’t die…but you’re going to wish you had.
About The Author: Deana is, as of writing this list, trembling in sheer terror of the horrific things nature is capable of producing to hurt us.