The Scariest Animals Lurking in the Amazon River

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posted on Jun. 20, 2016

Traveling abroad, especially to cities and countries you’re not familiar with, can be a scary and overwhelming thing. You’re in constant fear of getting lost, getting mugged, losing your luggage, missing your flight… It’s definitely nerve-wracking. In the Amazon, however, lost luggage and passports really aren’t your main worry. It’s what’s living in the waters that you should be scared of.

#1 Pacu

Distantly relate to the piranha, the pacu can grow to three feet long. Its teeth, meanwhile, are uncannily similar to those of a human’s which what makes this animal incredibly appalling.

#2 Red-Bellied Piranha

While their fearsome reputation comes from their feeding frenzies, these attacks – where they strip their prey to the bone within a few minutes – are extremely rare and are usually due to starvation or provocation. They’re actually quite timid; nonetheless, they’re freaky as hell.

#3 Black Caiman

These large crocodilians grow to sizes of at least 5 meters and possibly up to 6 meters in length, and they’ll eat anything they can: piranhas, monkeys, and even anacondas. Deise Nishimura, a local biologist, even lost one of her legs in a caiman attack back in 2010.

#4 Anaconda

And no, we’re not talking about Nicki Minaj’s anaconda; we’re talking about the kind of snake that can grow to over 29 feet and 550 lbs. Although they’re not venomous, they have been recorded to constrict and swallow small children.

#5 Bull Shark

Yup, sharks. In the Amazon. Bull sharks are known for swimming in freshwater. They’re also known for their aggressive nature – a trait that puts them in the top 3 most dangerous sharks in the world (the other two being the tiger shark and the great white shark).

#6 Electric Eel

Technically speaking, they’re more catfish than eel, but that little detail shouldn’t stop you from freaking out about the fact that they’re capable of producing jolts of electricity up to 600 volts. While one shock won’t kill the average human adult, multiple shocks can cause heart or respiratory failure.

#7 Payara


Also known as vampire fish, the payara can reach a length of almost four feet and their diet mainly consists of smaller fish like piranha. Oh, and its two razor-sharp fangs protruding from its lower jaw can grow to as much as six inches long.

#8 Candiru

The candiru is actually a tiny, tiny fish – even though some species are known to grow up to 16 inches – and they don’t look very dangerous, so what’s the big deal? Well, they’re parasitic little bastards that will invade your urethra.

#9 Giant Otter

It might look cute and cuddly, but it’s really not. Case in point: a group of giant otters was recorded devouring a five-foot-long black caiman – in 45 minutes.

#10 Arapaima

The arapaima might not be particularly dangerous but it’s certainly a scary-looking fish. Known as the “cod of the Amazon”, they can reach as much as 3 meters in length.

To the guys reading this, admit it: #8 scared you the most.

what do you think?


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