National Geographic ChannelNat Geo WildNat Geo PeopleNat Geo People


I think we can all agree that the Animal Kingdom is one of the most fascinating things Mother Nature brought into existence—so colourful, so diverse, and full of never-ending surprises. 

For humanity, us risk-lovers, something that looks like it can kill you in the blink of an eye is always a great thing to look at. And yes, many animals do look like supreme killing machines because that’s what they are, but there are also cases where they just have the looks, but not the bite—like some of people do, too.

Here are five of those examples—don’t let them fool you:


5. Gharial
Looks like a crocodile at first glance, except it isn’t one. And on second glance, you also notice the not-crocodile-like snout. Due to their appearance, they’re thought to be man-eaters, but truth is their long and narrow snouts are way too fragile to devour humans or any other large animal, for that matter. In fact, their special snouts are adapted to consume small fish, frogs and insects. I’m not saying you should stick your finger in its mouth, because that would probably not end well, but in general, you’re not in danger in its proximity.


4. Milk Snake

Here we’re in front of a master of disguise—this snake looks like the highly venomous coral snake, but it’s got nothing on them, because milk snakes are harmless. The resemblance is merely a way to scare away potential predators. It’s actually quite safe to handle a milk snake; they don’t show much aggression towards humans. Just make sure what you have in your hands is actually a milk snake and not a coral snake. How? Remember this: Red next to black is a friend of Jack; red next to yellow will kill a fellow. 


3. Manta Ray

I’ve always found rays cute, but apparently people think they’re dangerous and look creepy—they’re often even called devilfish! They can grow as large as 8 meters and yes, their appearance can be intimidating if you suddenly have one in front of your face while you’re diving. But manta rays are harmless; they’re just mere filter feeders that only eat tiny prey. And the difference with a stingray is that manta rays don’t have a stinger—it can’t really get more harmless than that.


2. Thorny Devil

After the devilfish, let me introduce you to the thorny devil. So spiky and with such a name… it has to be the deadliest creature! Actually, though, it’s just a tiny lizard that loves to eats thousands and thousands of ants and will most likely run from you the moment it sees you. … So, nothing deadly on it at all.


1. Vampire Bat

And finally—they look frightening, they live in caves, they only come out at night and most importantly, they suck blood. What they don’t do is transform into your typical, tall Transylvanian stranger or suck your blood. Vampire bats prefer to feed on cattle, goats or birds, even. Bites on humans are very rare and on top of it, entirely harmless and painless. No need to be afraid.

So much about unjustly feared animals. Now, if you came for the animals that can kill you, you might want to tune in to Animals Gone Wild, premiering in May on NatGeo. Enjoy!