California is one great state to be in, isn’t it? With tons of land and water adventures to participate in, it seems that everything’s just fun, games, and partying in this sunny state. However, there’s always another side to every story, and that includes California, too. Amid the Cali state’s lush greens, vast deserts, and deep waters, and you might even find some by the road, reside these dangerous yet cute creatures that you should keep an eye out for. Find out California’s top 12 most dangerous animals that send shivers down everybody’s spines. There’s one that we didn’t even expect to land on this list!
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
We’ve all been scared of snakes, no matter what kind. However, here’s one that you definitely need to watch out for, especially when going on hikes, sunbathing sessions, or just plain adventures in California’s differing habitats. Surprisingly, the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake can adapt to any environment. That’s why they can be found happily lounging around in deserts, lush forests, and even bodies of water. And guess what? California has all of those. The Southern Pacific Rattlesnake is considered California’s most venomous snake. One venomous bite can cause severe pain, swelling, and even organ failure. Be careful! And if you hear some rattling, be sure to rattle away from the area, too.
Black Widow Spider
Unfortunately, Scarlett Johansson isn’t going to pop out of nowhere this time. This Black Widow Spider isn’t the kind you’d be expecting so eagerly. This eight-legged friend who doesn’t like people and on-lookers is hidden in the forests and random twigs and bushes in California’s deserts. Black Widow Spiders might seem interesting because of their shiny black shell-like skin and hourglass marking on their belly. But beware of this hot and spicy creature! The Black Widow’s venom is 15 times stronger than any rattlesnake’s. Unlike a rattlesnake’s bite, the Black Widow feels only like a prick. However, a few minutes later, your body might ache all over. Remember to dress appropriately when going on adventures around California!
Arizona Bark Scorpion
Scorpions used to scare the hell out of people until somebody fried it and made it into a tasty snack. Now, most people only see this as a crunchy and bite-sized healthier substitute for french fries or even deep-fried Oreos. However, don’t be fooled by the Arizona Bark Scorpion! This one is no simple snack. Contrary to its name, the Arizona Bark Scorpion can be found all over Northern America and some parts of southeastern California. It is the most venomous scorpion in those areas, so you better not joke around. The Arizona Bark Scorpion’s venom can cause intense pain, numbness, and even respiratory problems in some cases.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Another snake has landed on this list. The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is fourth on our list because they only roam around the southeastern parts of sunny California, although it is equally as deadly as the first few creatures on our list. The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake catches the attention of many tourists, on-lookers, and even Californian locals because of its interesting snakeskin pattern. Don’t be fooled by how friendly it looks, although many of us are already scared of snakes from the get-go. Just one bite of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake can cause severe pain, tissue damage, and, when worst comes to worst, even death.
Mountain Lions, also known as cougars or pumas, can often be seen roaming around the woods of California. Cat owners will say these big kitties look cute and cuddly, but don’t be fooled by their marble-like eyes and purring abilities! These Mountain Lions are as deadly and scary as we all think they are. While more posts are circulating social media about Mountain Lions taking a peaceful rest in their back or front yards, these big cats can be deadly. Mountain Lions are solitary creatures, and they attack solitary people as well, especially when it threatens them. Make sure to keep an eye out!
American Black Bear
No matter what color, bears are cuddly, big, and kind. That’s what TV programs and sometimes even social media tell us about them. Contrary to popular belief, bears are as deadly as all the deadly animals mentioned on this list. Although the American Black Bear typically shies away from the public eye, their attacks can be lethal, especially when provoked or when they need to protect their young or the food they have gathered. American Black Bears roam California’s woods, deserts, and sometimes even highways. No matter how cute and cuddly they look, remember to never go near or interfere with their ways. It might just cost you your life!
Coyotes used to roam only in the mountainous areas and some parts of California’s deserts. Now, these four-legged animals know how to go around urban areas and some backyards as well. Coyotes are a danger to livestock and, now, to children and other pets as well. Rarely seen alone, Coyotes always go in packs to make attacks precise and fast. These noisy mountain doggies have evolved from breeding with Gray Wolves, making them stronger, bigger, and more aggressive. Coyote encounters often result in immediate attacks, but they can be prevented if you make yourself appear bigger or effectively target their eyes or nose.
Remember Bambi? That darling little cartoon deer impacted several generations about how cute and kind deers are and how sweet they are from that cartoon movie. Although they look small, cute, and jumpy, don’t be fooled because Deer can equally be as dangerous. California is home to six other kinds of deer that roam around their forests, yet they can also be found on some roads and roadsides now and then. Deers are common attackers, especially when they are protecting their fawn, gathering food, or when they are just plainly being bothered by an individual. Remember to keep your distance, observe from afar, never feed them food, and never provoke them.
The California Newt is one small but deadly creature that lives in the lush forests of California. If you have a garden or live near a body of water that’s not a beach, you’ll commonly see this little lizard crawling and slithering around mossy areas or on trees. They might catch your eye because of their orange bellies and peaceful demeanor. However, remember not to touch this! The reason why the California Newt landed on our list of the most dangerous animals is the fact that their skin is known for being toxic. One touch or lick can lead to lethal effects, and there’s no going back. Just like Deer, Black Bears, and Cougars, remember to admire their beauty from afar and never touch them.
There’s an interesting story about how these Killer Bees came to California. Originally called African Killer Bees, these little creatures escaped from Brazil and migrated to California. They have been multiplying since then. These Killer Bees sure look cute, especially when harvesting pollen from flowers, but don’t go near them! Like Coyotes, Killer Bees attack in groups and leave people with venomous stings. It’s not just any kind of venom. Killer Bees have highly potent venom that can take a life if not taken seriously. Killer Bees in California typically don’t attack immediately, but if they see that you’re trying to mess with their hive or are bothered by a loud noise, they’ll follow you until they’ve delivered numerous stings. They are called Killer Bees for a reason, so watch out!
Great White Shark
Great White Sharks are known to mind their own little business in the ocean’s depths. However, California is one state that’s by the ocean. And that means many Californian locals and tourists love to spend their precious time sunbathing or taking a dip into the deep blue waters. There are known tours wherein you can interact with Great White Sharks with the guidance of a professional. However, when push comes to shove, Great Whites are known for attacking humans when they suddenly become bothered, interested by the little swimming movements, or suddenly agitated. Great White Sharks are known to attack humans more than any other shark species. So have the time of your life, but be careful when you’re in the waters!
California Cone Snail
Who would have thought that a small, seemingly harmless snail would land on our list of the most dangerous animals in California? These cute-looking snails frequent the shores of California beaches. The California Cone Snail is a marine snail that rests peacefully on the coastline, waiting to be buried in the sand or be carried away by the waves. Understandably, and by looking at how cute and seemingly harmless they are, people, especially children, might take an interest in picking them up to join their seashell collection. However, beware because the California Cone Snail has a venomous harpoon-like tooth that, when pricked or touched, can cause severe pain, paralysis, or even death.
The state of California isn’t only rich with tourist spots, beaches, deserts, bars, and other attractions; it is also rich in wildlife and other seemingly harmless yet really dangerous creatures such as the ones mentioned in the list. It’s not to prevent you from going on your much-awaited adventure but to keep you aware of staying safe, wearing the proper attire, and never disturbing what needs to be kept in peace. Remember, we can all observe and appreciate beauty even from afar. Which dangerous animal do you think you’ll encounter most in the sunny state?
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