Halloween's Scariest Wildlife!
Getting ready for Halloween this weekend? If so, then I am sure you have thought long and hard these last weeks of which monster you will dress yourself as and many among us will take out their favourite horror movies and novels to get in to the right mood. But we don't have to look out for monsters of other planets, fantasy or other dimensions to get a good scare!
There are still creatures in this world that will give Freddy Kruger a run for his money! Fronteering hereby would like to present some of the scary creatures that we at times encounter during our Guyana volunteer abroad projects and adventure trips:
5. The First Nominee of Fronteering's scariest encounters during our volunteer abroad projects in Guyana is the relatively unknown Payara or better known as Vampire Fish, a Cousin of the more ferocious and Famous Piranha which as also calls the Amazon Basin Home.
Even though the vampire fish is one scary looking fish it is quite harmless and uses it long fangs to catch other fish. Therefore The Vampire ends in this list on the 5th and last place.
4. Bird eating spider
Guyana is home to many kinds of bird eating spiders, most notable the Goliath Bird eating spider; World's largest spider. Spiders are great for a good scare and the hairy Bird Eating spiders know how to do this best!
These large bird eating spiders are better to be left alone! no they will not try to eat you and rarely ever bite. But come to close and they will kick those hairs of their legs at the face of their attacker. These hairs are very irritating resulting in teary eyes, sneezes and coughs. Enough distraction for the spider to get away!
What about their bite? Well even though their long fangs do hurt quite a bit, bird eating spiders are so large that they do not need to carry a strong venom and therefore for their bite hurts about the same as a wasps sting. For this reason the Bird spider ends as our fourth scariest creeper this Halloween at our volunteer abroad projects in South America.
3. Let's take a look at our third nominee: The Piranha. There are over 30 species of Piranha in South America most which live within the Amazon region. From those many species of Piranha only four can be considered a threat: the black Piranha, silver, yellow and the red bellied Piranha. On the first picture below you will find a picture of the most notorious and famous red bellied piranha followed by a picture of the largest Piranha species the Black Piranha.
After many years of research the Piranha's ferocious reputation has been proven to be greatly exaggerated! Out of the latest study it was proven that Piranha's do not group in the hundreds to devour anything that crosses their path but instead they school together for safety in numbers to have a smaller chance to fall victim to their many predators.
Our Fronteering staff and volunteers have on many occasions shared waters with piranha's and we all have our toes and fingers to prove for that their reputation for the most part is undeserved. We do however advise not to enter the water when water levels of rivers and lakes are unnaturally low.
2. The Giant Centipede. We are getting close now to Mother's nature creature scariest creeper. On the second place we find world's largest centipede!
Well armoured, fast, a painful (but not deadly) poisonous bite and growing up to 30 centimetres (12 inches) in length the Giant Centipede is a top predators of the forest floor. It's the first thing we check our clothes and hammock for before sleeping and when waking up. As Painful at its bite might be, the pay only last for several hours. Bites are very rare and just like any other animal it will prefer to avoid conflict and prefers to uses its many feet to get out of the way as fast as possible.
1. Our last nominee and winner is a creature that will have even the largest and bravest man on the run. Was that Michael Myers running by? It is none other than The bullet Ant! We believe the picture below says more than words can say. This ant clearly says don't come any closer, don't mess with me!
Movies fans might think: is this the South American Ant that we see on movies eating people in groups of millions? No that is just a fable, there are no such ants in South America! Those are Driver Ants from Africa. The above bullet ant is feared because of its painful sting that lasts for 24 hours. Bullet Ants live in surprisingly small colonies of about 50 individuals.. They are also not a species that ventures in to camp to scavenge for human leftovers and therefore encounters are very rare.
This was our Fronteering list of scary animals for this Halloween with the vampire fish definitely winning the nomination of scariest looks while the Bullet wins the price for giving the most disserved scares!
We would like to remind everyone of course that these creatures are by no means to be feared as long as we tread with care and respect these magnificent creatures for who they are when we enter their territory.