The world is a dangerous place. Crime is everywhere, freak accidents are aplenty, and it seems like just about everything gives you cancer. But there are plenty of things we don’t worry about that can kill us. So before you step out of your house tomorrow, just take a quick look around – there could be a rampaging hippo coming around the corner.
Hippos (Yes, I was serious about that)
Forget sharks or lions – hippos are perhaps the most dangerous animal in all of Africa, responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths annually. With horrible tempers and a penchant for guarding their territories and their young, you don’t want to be on the wrong end of a hippo charge. They can run up to 18 miles per hour and usually weigh around 8,000 pounds. Beyond the bone-shattering ability of their bodies, throw in some massively sharp teeth and a nocturnal lifestyle – meaning your evening tryst in the swamp just got a lot more exciting.
Getting creative while getting…off
More than 600 people are known to die from autoerotic asphyxiation every year – although who knows how many more were covered up to look like something – anything – else. If you’re not familiar with the term, go ahead and Google it (but not at work or school please), as I really don’t have the delicate terms to describe it. But seriously, it can’t be worth it.
Every year, scalding hot water from the faucet is responsible for approximately 43 deaths. I can only assume it leads to severe burns and infection, but really? Aren’t they usually marked in red or blue or with a H or C? Either way, just be aware when you’re washing your hands – it could be your last time.
Falling out of bed
In the U.S. alone, 450 people die each year from falling out bed – a small number when you consider that the same accident accounts for 1.8 million emergency room visits annually. It’s usually the very young or old that are most at risk, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe either.
There’s nothing quite like the beauty of a Russian winter, but beauty turns deadly when you consider that 100 people are killed each year when icicles fall from icy rooftops. You can be guilty of nothing more than taking a nice stroll, but danger lurks overhead.
No, not bees, and not even mosquitos (which, when you factor in malaria deaths, are actually quite lethal). Among the 280 species of ants that can be deadly, fire ants and Siafu ants are known for swarming their prey and delivering bites filled with venom. Since these species often live in colonies of 20 million or so, the amount of venom can cause the victim to go into anaphylactic shock, accounting for the 30 deaths every year from the tiny creatures.
Well, specifically the animal chauffeur kind. Approximately 120 people are killed each year from being a passenger in an animal-driven vehicle, which I can only assume includes the likes of horse-drawn carriages, Alaskan dog sleds, elephant saddles, and Aquaman’s team of dolphins. It might be fun, romantic or cool, but you might just be better off walking.
This may make you think twice before hunting for quarters for another bag of chips. Vending machines kill 10 to 13 people annually by falling on top of them (although there are no statistics about how many of these deaths included aggressive shaking of the machine because that desperately needed bag of Cheetos got stuck AGAIN). Snack cautiously, my friends.
This is just getting ridiculous, but apparently 150 people die annually from being struck by coconuts falling out of trees. Due to the impressive height of palm trees, they can build up speeds of 50 mph or more on their way to the ground, or your head. That walk on the beach just got a little darker.
They say that most household accidents occur in the bathroom, and with good reason – 344 people are killed each year from drowning in the bathtub, either while falling in accidentally or enjoying a nice relaxing bubble session. I think the lesson learned from this list is: just stay locked in a padded room and you might be safe (except for the danger of dust mites and bed bugs in the pads…there’s no escape!).