March 26, 2014

This article

is so chok-a-block full of goodness that you need to stop what you're doing and go read it now.

In case you don't have 15 minutes to spare, here are some good facts about getting eaten by a predator.

When it comes to predatory animals, humans have little to fear but themselves. We kill one another at a rate of more than one million per year, mostly wartime casualties. The second-deadliest threat is snakes, which kill over 100,000 people annually, followed by crocodiles (960), and tigers (740). The much-feared shark falls far down the list—only about seven human victims annually worldwide—making it a lightweight compared to the ostrich, which when cornered can kick viciously with hammerlike feet and sharp talons and kills some 14 people every year. As for the ferocious grizzly bear, it ranks about the same as mustelids (weasels, badgers, skunks, and the like), which kill an average of four humans a year, primarily pet ferrets attacking unattended babies. A couple more reassuring statistics: In the United States and Canada, you have more to fear from moose (six deaths per year) than any other creature except snakes (12). And the most likely place in the States to be attacked by an alligator (three deaths between 1992 and 1998) is not deep in some swamp, but on a golf course.

And then on snakes,

Snakes kill far more humans worldwide than any other animal, but as one authority states, they "have never been shown to attack without provocation, despite lengthy historical commentary to the contrary." ...In the United States, by contrast, many victims are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and, in the words of another expert, are "messing with" the snakes. Researchers in Alabama have noted a statistical drop in venomous snakebites among adult men when University of Alabama or Auburn University football games are televised...

And I haven't even gotten to the topic of the article -- the box jellyfish.

Go ahead, go read it.