It is these animals that people fear the most

Whether big or small, whether on land or in the water: everywhere we humans meet animals that we are most afraid of. In many cases, the fear is completely unjustified, because we never see the dangerous specimens of the dreaded animal species. Nevertheless, we shudder at the animals. Just why?

The wolf returns to Germany: with him also the fear?  — Picture: Shutterstock / karl umbriaco

The wolf returns to Germany: with him also the fear? — Picture: Shutterstock / karl umbriaco

Of course, the fear of certain animals also depends on where the person lives. In this case, we’ll roughly assume a European. And he is most afraid of spiders. There is probably no other phobia that is as widespread as arachnophobia. However, this is sick. But even completely healthy people are afraid of spiders or react with disgust. Many are afraid, for example, of the allegedly poisonous bite of a garden spider – although the bite of the common garden spider is just as harmless as a mosquito bite. The Sidney funnel spider is almost exclusively deadly to humans – and from a European perspective, it lives on the other side of the world.

Fear of snakes is widespread

But maybe humans are most afraid of animals that move unusually. This works just as well with eight legs as with no legs at all: Snaking snakes send shivers down the spine of many. And finally, people have to be careful of poisonous snake bites – but not in Germany. In this country, the adder is one of the most poisonous snakes. They are very shy and only bite when absolutely necessary. At best, the poison is dangerous for children or weakened people – often the bite of a adder is not even noticed.

Mice and rats: disgust at cute rodents

Many cannot understand why people are most afraid of rats and mice, among other things. Even elephants are said to be afraid of mice. The rodents are actually really cute. Or not? Many people are disgusted by the long tails of rats and mice. Why you should actually be afraid of rats is the danger of diseases that rodents can transmit.

And as soon as it is August, the next animal that people fear the most is just around the corner: wasps. The main reason for the fear is that the black and yellow insects are very curious and maybe a bit pushy. You quickly crawl into the beverage can, a deep sip and a life-threatening sting in the throat can follow. So the fear is justified, but the danger can also be minimized with the right behavior: Don’t hit at wasps and always cover drinks well.

The myth of the shark and the wolf as a fright in fairy tales

Sharks evoke the greatest fears in many people. Even in the swimming pool, one or the other is said to be afraid of being suddenly grabbed by such a predatory fish. There are no dangerous sharks in the North and Baltic Seas – and of course not in swimming pools either. Steven Spielberg’s classic films and hyped up news reports of shark attacks around the world certainly contributed to creating this fear. The shark should be much more afraid of humans: it is a massive threat to its habitat.

Wolves owe their bad reputation not least to the world of fairy tales. In Little Red Riding Hood, the big bad wolf is the epitome of evil. In reality, wolves frightened people mainly because they killed their livestock. They lost their fear of humans and stayed near them – after all, there was food in abundance there. Wolves are now returning to Germany – and with them fear?

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