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10 of the Most Fearless Animals on the Planet

Animals have many defense mechanisms that protect them when they feel threatened. For some animals, however, the best defense is a good offense. When these fearless animals are in danger, their first instinct is to fight back!

While some of the bravest animals in the wild are large, others are tiny. When it comes to being fearless, size and strength isn’t what matters. Read on to learn about the most fearless animals you can find in the wild.

The 10 Most Fearless Animals

There are some animals that can’t be intimidated! These 10 courageous animals don’t seem to know the meaning of the world fear.

1. Lions

Lion sits on the ground
Lion sits on the ground

Even though lions share their habitat with other predators, like cheetahs and spotted hyenas, they’re still the rulers of the jungle. The lion is an apex predator that’s unafraid of targeting much larger prey, like giraffes and buffalo.

Lions can be anywhere from 5.2 to 6.8 feet long, with weights ranging from 260 to 496 pounds. In comparison, a buffalo has an average length of 9 feet long and can weigh up to 1,200 pounds! If a lion is hungry, there’s nothing that can stand in its way.

Male and female lions are both fearless, but female lions tend to do most of the hunting. Lions typically attack in groups, but if necessary, a lion is happy to fight other animals on its own.

2. Honey Badgers

Honey badger with baby
Honey Badger with a pup | image by Derek Keats via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

At first glance, honey badgers might not look intimidating. These furry mammals are less than 12 inches tall and rarely weigh more than 35 pounds. While honey badgers might be tiny, they’ll attack any animal that makes them feel threatened, including large animals like leopards and crocodiles.

One of the reasons honey badgers are fearless is their ultra-tough skin. It’s so thick that many animals can’t pierce it with their teeth!

Honey badgers are also resistant to stings and venom. If a honey badger needs to escape, it can release a smelly liquid and make a quick getaway.

3. Komodo Dragons

Komodo Dragon on mossy rocks
Komodo Dragon on mossy rocks

The Komodo dragon can only be found on a few islands in Indonesia. It has no natural predators, and because of that, it’s evolved to be fearless! This large reptile isn’t afraid of anything, including other large predators.

With a typical length of 7.5 to 8.5 feet and an average weight of 150 to 200 pounds, Komodo dragons tower above the other animals in their habitat. They’re able to kill their prey within seconds and will even swallow it whole! It’s not unusual for a Komodo dragon to eat as much as 80% of its body weight in a single meal.

4. Barracudas

Barracuda underwater
Barracuda underwater

This predatory fish is famously intimidating! It can grow to be more than 5 feet long and has large, sharp teeth that look like fangs. Barracudas will readily feed on entire schools of fish or attack much larger fish. They’re even known to feed on large aquatic mammals, like dolphins.

Not only do barracudas attack creatures in the ocean, but they’re known to ambush humans. In one reported case, a barracuda actually jumped out of the water to attack a kayaker. Larger barracuda species, like the great barracuda, are usually the most aggressive.

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5. Cape Buffaloes

Cape buffalo
Cape buffalo

The cape buffalo is the largest African buffalo species, weighing up to 2,000 pounds and measuring as high as 8.3 feet. While its size already makes it a major threat, this creature is also known for its aggressive and unpredictable behavior. It’s known to attack at a moment’s notice.

Cape buffaloes will readily fight other animals, even deadly predators like lions. They frequently attack humans, which has earned them the nickname “the Black Death.” Even if a Cape Buffalo is seriously wounded, it will charge and fight back against its attacker.

6. Tigers

Bengal tiger
Bengal tiger

Measuring between 6.6 and 13 feet long and weighing as much as 680 pounds, the tiger is the largest wildcat in the world. It’s a fearsome predator that’s capable of killing its prey with a single bite. Unlike most big cats, tigers are also excellent swimmers and frequently spend time in the water.

Tigers are apex predators, and they aren’t afraid of being noticed. When a tiger roars, it can be heard from nearly 2 miles away! While tigers usually stalk their prey, they can travel at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, making it easy for them to chase down any animals that try to get away.

7. Hippos

Hippos | image by s9-4pr via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Even though hippos are herbivores, they’re incredibly deadly creatures. In fact, some reports show that the hippo is the deadliest land mammal in the entire world. In Africa, it’s estimated that hippos kill as many as 500 humans per year.

Why are hippos so deadly? When hippos are in water, they can be extremely territorial, and they’re also very aggressive. Hippos are known for chasing after boats and tipping them over, killing the passengers in size.

While hippos are more aggressive in water, they’ll approach humans and raid crops even when they’re on land. Hippos are known to attack other animals as well, including ferocious predators like crocodiles.

8. Fire Ants

Fire ants
Fire ants

The fire ant proves that an animal can be threatening at any size. Most fire ants measure around .079 to 0.25 inches long, making them difficult to spot from a distance. However, these stinging insects are very aggressive and will readily attack any animal they see as a threat, no matter how large it is.

When fire ants attack, they swarm their target and bite down on their skin to stay in place. They then repeatedly sting their victim, injecting them with toxic venom.

Fire ants are known to attack pets, humans, and may even swarm large animals like crocodiles. Their stings can be fatal without treatment.

9. Nile Crocodiles

Nile crocodile
Nile crocodile

All crocodile species are tough, but no species is as bold as the Nile crocodile. Measuring up to 20 feet long and weighing as much as 1,700 pounds, it’s one of the largest reptiles in the entire world.

Nile crocodiles are known for being aggressive and frequently attack animals, including humans. It’s normal for animals to attack when they feel threatened, but Nile crocodiles will happily ambush any human that gets too close to the water.

It’s easy to see why the Nile crocodile is so fearless. Thanks to its powerful jaws, its bite strength is 15 times stronger than a rottweiler’s and 8 times stronger than a great white shark. There aren’t many creatures that are a match for this massive crocodile!

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10. Ostriches

group of ostrich under white sky
Group of ostrich under white sky

There’s a popular myth claiming that ostriches bury their head in the sand when they’re in danger. While this claim makes ostriches sound cowardly, it’s completely untrue. In fact, the ostrich is one of the bravest birds in the animal kingdom.

Ostriches are extremely territorial and become very aggressive when other animals approach their nest. They’re known to fight back against vicious predators like jackals and cheetahs. An ostrich has sharp claws and powerful legs that it uses to kick attackers.

In addition to fighting other animals, ostriches will fight each other, especially during the mating season. Males will fearlessly ram their heads into their opponents. These attacks can be deadly.

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