I may have mentioned the festive season in my post on Friday about Christmas Adverts on TV, but I’m certainly not feeling very Christmassy yet. For that reason I’m going to be talking about killer creatures in the UK.
Recently in “The Sun”, one of Britain’s most popular tabloid newspapers, there was an article about the 10 most dangerous creatures living wild in Britain. I can’t link you to that article, The Sun online is now subscription only, but I can certainly tell you all about it.
I did a similar list about six months ago for Australia in a post called Australia’s Most Dangerous Animals: a Decade of Death and our number one killer was not the animal most people would have been thinking about.
According to this UK list though, their top killer is even stranger than our one.
Britain’s deadly wild animals
The Sun were inspired into writing the article after some blue sharks were seen off of the Cornish coast during the summer heatwave back in July.
Apart from those then, what other killer critters has the UK got?
The list did not appear to be in order, although a ‘Danger rating’ was given (out of a maximum of 5) for each critter so let’s jump straight in and see what they’ve got.
- The Australian Redback Spider (welcome to our world) has been spotted in the Midlands, Scotland and Wales; they are believed to have made it to the UK via the luggage of holidaymakers coming back from Oz. Danger rating 4/5.
- False Black Widow Spiders are said to have arrived in the late 1800s in fruit crates from the Canary Islands. Danger rating 3/5.
- The Yellow-tailed scorpion is another import from the late 1800s and has been seen in Sheerness, Kent. This critters sting can be deadly to infants and the elderly. Danger rating 3/5.
- Snapping turtles, thought to be mainly discarded pets, they are unlikely to kill but watch those fingers! Danger rating 3/5.
- Wild boar, or pigs if you prefer, are increasing in numbers in some areas of the British countryside. They are not naturally aggressive, but you wouldn’t want to corner one. Danger rating 2/5.
- The wolf was an interesting inclusion in the list considering there aren’t any in Britain yet. They are on their way though, apparently, although I’m not sure how that counts. Danger rating 2/5.
- The Portuguese Man O’War has a much cuter name than that here in Australia and you can find out what it is in my post When Bondi Beach Goes Bad! In terms of danger, apparently that’s as bad as it gets in Britain. Danger rating 5/5.
- The Asian Hornet is another of Britain’s dangerous creatures which hasn’t yet arrived in Britain. They are on the march though, having already wiped out many bees in France. Danger rating 2.5/5.
- The panther, like Bigfoot or our Yowies, has been spotted but never caught. So, are they roaming the British countryside or not? Whether they are or not, they’ve made the top 10 on this list. Danger rating 2.5/5.
So that’s nine out of the 10 on the list, let’s summarise it.
It has two animals that are not yet in Britain and a third that is more likely to be a myth than reality. A couple of spiders, some discarded pet turtles, an ugly looking scorpion and some wild pigs. The most dangerous critter so far on the list, according to the danger ratings, is a kind of jellyfish whose sting we treat here in Australia with vinegar.
No wonder Brits think Australia is scary!
I told you their top killer was even stranger than ours here in Australia and I’m not going to disappoint you. It is the…
According to The Sun, the miniscule dust mite could well be responsible for over 1000 deaths a year as it is these tiny critters that are known to trigger asthma attacks which can be fatal. And on that basis The Sun claimed that the dust mite is Britain’s most deadly animal.
Well, between them, our much scarier sharks, spiders, snakes, crocodiles, scorpions, stonefish, cone snails and killer jellyfish barely muster up more than half a dozen deaths a year here, so the house dust mite by comparison is a killing machine.
And it kills simply by ‘being there’.
I think, from this, we can conclude that ‘the 10 most dangerous creatures living wild in Britain’ is really only a list of six slightly annoying creatures in Britain that can cause some people a little discomfort.
Either way, if you are one of those UK residents who wakes up in the middle of the night screaming having had another one of those house dust mite nightmares, moving down under won’t help you.
Australia has dust mites too.