close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
January 25, 2020

Sharks are wimps, compared to mosquitos

Top Story

January 25, 2020

Bill Gates asks in his blog — GatesNotes — what would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?

He writes: Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws. But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.

When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.

Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the US they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it.

Here is a list from the fatalities data of 2015: Mosquitoes: 830,000 Humans: 580,000 Snakes: 60,000 Sandflies: 24.200 Dogs: 17,400 Kissing Bugs: 8,000 Freshwater snails: 4,400 Scorpions: 3,500

Tsetse flies: 3,500 Roundworms: 2,700 Tapeworms: 1,600 Crocodile: 1,000 Hippopotamus: 500 Lion: 100 Elephants: 100 Bees: 60 Tigers: 50 Jellyfish: 40 Wolves: 10 Sharks: 6