A trip up the 4,000 miles and more of the Amazon River may be the stuff of dreams for any would-be explorer. But those dreams could quickly turn to nightmares thanks to the terrifying characteristics and behaviors of some of the native animals. Leeches with sharp teeth, sharks 2,500 miles upriver and fish that will invade your most private parts are just a few of the horrors that await you.
1. Tyrant king leech
Scientists only described this fearsome member of the leech family in 2010, naming it Tyrannobdella rex or the tyrant king leech. The animal can grow to a length of three inches and it has large sharp, teeth. It’s what it does with its teeth that is horrifying. This leech can use its teeth to hack away at the mouth of any mammal it catches on to. And it’s not just the mouth – it will chew into any orifice it finds, including the most intimate ones.
2. Amazonian giant centipede
This multi-legged beast can grow to a length of 12 inches. The Amazonian giant centipede is a feisty creature capable of taking on, killing and eating tarantulas, lizards, bats and birds. The centipede does have a poisonous bite, but this is not fatal to a healthy adult human. However, if you are up the Amazon with a small child, beware. A tragic case was documented in Venezuela when a centipede bite resulted in the death of a four-year-old child.