Hi everybody! From otters flipping over kayaks, to cannibalistic turtles that can bite your finger off, here are 10 of the most dangerous river monsters in the world.
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10. Giant Otter
You might think of most otters as cute and cuddly, but the giant otter is a different story. Native to the rivers and creeks of northern South America, they can grow to be up to 6 feet long (1.8 m) and weigh 70 pounds (31kg), although some might get heavier. These apex predators compete for food with jaguar s and caimans, and it is so tough it is also known as “The River Wolf” in South America.
9. Giant Amazon Leech
No one likes a leech – they’re blood-thirsty parasitic worms that feed on blood. Emergency physician Jeremy Joslin was in Cambodia helping out with an ultramarathon. After the event, the athletes decided to go into a nearby stream to cool off. He said shortly after the screaming started and people began hurrying to his camp to get the leeches removed.
8. Giant Freshwater Stingray
Some think that the giant freshwater stingray might be the largest freshwater fish in the world. They’re so big that the literal act of weighing these monsters is a task unto itself! Just ask Jeff Corwin, host of Ocean Mysteries, who went to Thailand’s Mae Klong River to help measure what they called the “big one”.
7. Bull Shark
Most sharks aren’t trying to get into trouble, but bull sharks seem to have no fear, and are known to instigate attacks unprovoked. This fact has earned them the title of the most aggressive sharks in the world. And what’s more, there are a lot of them out there!
The green anaconda is widely known as the biggest snake on the planet. Pound for pound it is way heavier than its competitor, the reticulated python which can get a bit longer.
Even so, the green anaconda can get to about 30 feet long, and weighs twice as much!
It can weigh up to 550 pounds, which is bad news for anything that might get in this massive snake’s way.
5. Electric Eel
When you hear the scientific name Electrophorus electricus, you know that you’re in for a shocker – and the electric eel is happy to administer that shock if you get too close. However, as popular as electric eels are, they’re not actually eels at all. In terms of their family tree, they’re closer to catfish than eels. But they are definitely electric.
4. Red-Bellied Piranha
Piranhas are notorious for their hunting behavior and sharp teeth, but the red-bellied piranha might just be the most dangerous piranha of them all. They are fish that swim in the fresh waters of South America, and they don’t do it alone; they go about their business in large groups of sometimes over a hundred others!
3. Alligator Snapping Turtle
The alligator snapping turtle looks like it belongs in the distant past with the dinosaurs, not in the present when you’re trying to enjoy your swim! But these intimidating turtles hang out in the southeast region of the US, so you might see one if you go to a river or a lake. And they’re definitely not lookers.
Payara are referred to as ‘fanged vampire fish’ for good reason; when you see the teeth on these bad boys, you’d be hard pressed to think of anything but Dracula. In fact, their teeth can grow to be around six inches long.They are also known as the saber tooth barracuda, vampire fish, vampire tetra, or saber tusk barracuda.
The candiru is a tiny species of catfish with a nasty reputation for swimming into the… private areas of people who wade into its waters. Supposedly it will work it's way inside you and start to feed. They swim in the basin of the Amazon rainforest, but it’s not entirely clear which species is singled out by the name ‘candiru’.