October 31, 2011
|Mongabay.com features a Picture of the Day several days a week|
Mosquito in New Guinea. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
What's the world's scariest species? Runner-up would likely be the mosquito species that transmit malaria. Nearly a million people die from malaria annually, making up some 2.23 percent of deaths worldwide. Annual cases of malaria are over 200 million. Most of the deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, though malarial mosquitoes are present throughout the tropics.
Yet even as scary as mosquitoes are, they are nothing compared to the world's most terrifying species: us. Human wars alone killed more people in the 20th Century than malaria likely did (estimates range from around 160-240 million). That, of course, does not include other human-caused fatalities such as homicide, murder, suicide, and others. We are our own worst enemy it seems.
Armed men in Indonesian New Guinea. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Through consumption, people in Europe and the United States have a substantially larger impact than people in the developing world.
For more photos of 'scary' species click here.