Read our big list of the most scary animals in the world and their creepy pictures. This includes some of the most dangerous and outright frightening animals from across the animal kingdom.
In some cases they look terrifying, but really aren’t. Most of these scary animals have no interest in humans. Click through on each animal profile to find out creepy animal facts about them.
The alligator snapping turtle is one of the heaviest turtles in the world, with a prehistoric appearance. They have been known to bite baby alligators, and researchers fingers – clean off!
The Asian giant hornet are also known as ‘murder hornets’, and they are largest species of wasp in the world measuring over 2 inches, and a ferocious bee killer. A great start to the scary list!
Atlantic wolffish are a species of large scary-looking fish native to the North Atlantic Ocean. They are known for their unusual fanglike teeth that give them the appearance of a wolf.
The Aye-Aye is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. It has rodent-like teeth that grow perpetually, and a creepy middle finger that is long, thin and skeletal in appearance.
The black widow spider is an arachnid that strikes fear into the hearts of many. They have venom that is 15 times more potent that a rattlesnake! Fortunately, it’s rare for humans to die from a bite.
Some box jellyfish are armed with 3-meter-long tentacles covered with millions of nematocysts, which can deliver potent venom that are responsible for over 500 deaths each year.
The Bullet Ant is found in tropical rainforests in Central and South America. It’s famous for having the most painful sting in the world, said to be comparable to the pain of being shot!
The colossal squid is a deep-sea squid that occupies some of the coldest, darkest parts of the Southern ocean. It’s the heaviest squid ever discovered and can grow up to 10 meters!
The Demontor Wasp is a species of cockroach wasp native to Thailand. They prey on cockroaches by injecting venom into their head, which turns them into a zombie that walks into the wasps nest.
Electric eels are actually fish, not eels. One species is capable of generating a truly shocking 860 volts, which means it’s the most powerful electrical animal in the world.
The Fangtooth, also known as the ‘Ogre Fish’ are dee-sea fish found up to 5,000m below the sea. They have the largest relative teeth to their size in the ocean and are very spooky.
Flying foxes are not actually foxes, they are enormous ‘megabats’ with heads that resemble a fox with small ears and large eyes, oh and a wing span of up to 1.5m (5 feet!).
Frilled sharks are long, eel-like sharks and they are some of the most primitive fishes in the ocean. They have six gills that form a frill around their neck and over 300 triple-pointed teeth.
The gharial is one of two crocodilians from the Gavialidae family that is known for its narrow, elongated snout and sharp, interlocking teeth.
Ghost sharks are not actually sharks, but specialist deep water fish that have the slowest evolving genome of all known invertebrates – with a ghost like appearance!
Giant centipedes are the largest living centipedes reaching up to a foot long. They are venomous and able to take down birds, bats, frogs and rats. Truely terrifying.
The giant forest scorpion is the largest scorpion in the world. It’s native to India, and can grow up to an eye-watering 23 cms (9 inches) in length.
The giant huntsman spider is a species of huntsman spider found in a single cave complex in Laos. They have the largest legspan in the world, measuring up to 30cm – the size of a dinner plate!
The giant squid is one of the most frightening mysteries of the deep that can grow up to 20m in length – with long tentacles, enormous eyes, and a powerful crushing beak.
The Goblin Shark is a deep-sea shark, that has an elongated, flattened snout. Within it are weird protruding jaws, that are filled with scary teeth that resemble nails.
The goliath birdeater is the largest spider in the world, and probably to have ever lived. They don’t eat as many birds as their name suggests, but they will devour frogs, mice and insects.
The goliath tigerfish is essentially a giant piranha with teeth the size of a great white shark, that lurks in the waters of large rivers and lakes in central Africa.
Great white sharks are the world’s biggest predatory fish, measuring on average 4.5m (15ft) in length. The largest recorded is thought to be 7m (23ft) weighing 2.5 tonnes. Enough said.
This bird has been described as having a “grotesque elegance”, which is entirely appropriate. It has a bald, dermatitic face with piercing blue eyes and a neck scrotum to top off their scary appearance.
The green anaconda is known as the ‘giant anaconda’, and it’s the heaviest and one of the longest snakes in the world – reaching over 6m in length and capable of constricting large prey!
The hammer-headed bat, also known as the hammer head fruit bat and big-lipped bat, is one of the most creepy bat species around. They’re a type of megabat, just like flying foxes.
The inland taipan is the most venomous snake in the world and native to Australia. The venom of one bite is strong enough to kill 100 men.
Irukandji Jellyfish are box jellyfish, about the size of a thumbnail and virtually see-through. They have one of the most potent venoms in the world, and cause ‘Irukandji syndrome’ which can be fatal.
The Japanese spider crab is a giant crustacean that can grow up to 12.5 feet that is most commonly found on the Pacific side of Japan.
Komodo dragons are huge, muscular lizards that can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in length, and have a venomous bite. They even consume their preys bones!
Lamprey are parasitic fish that latch onto prey using their suction cup mouth before drilling into their flesh using their disc-shaped teeth, and sucking their blood. Scary, but thankfully it’s just fish they eat!
The Marabou Stork is a giant stork, known as the ‘undertaker’ bird due to it’s rather evil looking appearance. It has one of the largest wingspans in the world, and likes to kill flamingos.
The mata mata is a terrifying-looking turtle with incredible looking armour, and likes to suck in fish from the muddy shallow waters of the Amazon.
The Moray eel is one of the creepiest fish you’ll see in the shallows. They are covered in toxic snot, and have two sets of jaws (because one just isn’t enough).
The Naked Mole-Rat is a freaky rodent that has virtually no hair. Despite the name, they are neither moles, or rats. They are more closely related to porcupines and guinea pigs.
Known as a ferocious freshwater fish, the Piranha is a small to medium size fish native to lakes and rivers in South America. They are infamous for their razor sharp teeth and extremely powerful jaws.
Named for its huge mouth and aggressive temperament, the sarcastic fringehead is a fascinating small saltwater fish which can open it’s mouth like a Demogorgon from Stranger Things.
The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is one of the smallest leaf-tailed gecko species. It has a horned head, red eyes and a tail with notches that helps it mimic the look of decaying leaves.
Sawfish are ancient, mysterious and highly endangered family of rays with a long, narrow nose which has sharp ‘teeth’ each side like a saw – which they use to attrack prey!
The Shoebill is a large, elusive, stalk-like bird with an almost prehistoric appearance, due to its oversized shoe-shaped beak. They can clatter their bills which make a sound like a machine gun.
Stonefish are a family of fish famous for being the most venomous fish in the world, with a sting that causes excruciating pain. They are sometimes stepped on, as they blend in with the seafloor.
The tailless whip scorpion may look like the stuff of nightmares, with its spider-scorpion cross appearance, but actually it’s harmless to humans, having neither a stinger nor venomous jaws.
What if the most potent venom known to science was from a quite ordinary looking sea snail? Wonder no more, meet conus textile, or the textile cone snail – probably the most toxic animal alive.
The Thorny Devil is a small Australian lizard which inhabits deserts and scrub lands. Their body is covered in spikes and scales, which help it defend from predators.
The Titan Beetle is one of the largest insects in the world, and the heaviest and largest beetle – growing up to 7 inches in length! Fortunately they are only found in the Amazon rainforest.
Vampire bats are a group of three species of bat that are well known for their blood-eating habit. They have razor sharp teeth and grooved tongues to be able to lap up the blood of prey.
The Vampire Ground Finch lives on the The Galapagos Islands and looks like any other innocent finch, however it has a rather unusual diet – it likes to drink the blood of other birds.
Vinegaroons are an ancient arachnid, with the face of a spider and the crushing limbs of a scorpion. Oh, and a whip-like tail. While harmless to humans, they do shoot acid from their butts.
Kiwa are a genus of marine decapods that inhabit hydrothermal vents at deep-sea. The name comes from their weird hairy appearance, that resembles that of the legendary snow monster Yeti.
What’s ‘scary’ about an animal?
Often the things we find scary or creepy will be animals that are dangerous, disgusting or ‘unknown’.
Many of these animals will appear terrifying, but are relatively harmless. While some can be dangerous, typically they are not really interested or a threat to us, unless provoked.
We’re adding the scariest, creepiest and most terrifying animals to Fact Animal constantly. If there’s a particular scary animal you’d like to see covered, then get in touch.