Eating these animals just might kill you

Throughout history, humans have eaten a variety of different animals. Sometimes we try bizarre foods though necessity and other times we just get curious. During this process we have discovered a number of animals that don’t just taste disgusting but are also deadly. So not matter where you find yourself, even in the most desperate circumstances, I would strongly advice you not to eat the following:


Deadly to prey and predators. Image credit: Gary Rinaldi via Flickr

Barracuda has earned a reputation as one of the oceans most fierce fish. But it’s outside the water that this animal is most dangerous to humans. This is because barracuda often contains ciguatoxin which causes ciguatera fish poisoning in humans.

This illness leads to many symptoms including nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and tingling in feet and hands. It’s can also cause death as a result of severe dehydration or respiratory failure due to respiratory muscles being paralyzed. Unfortunately, many other tropical fish also contain high levels of ciguatoxin because they it accumulates in their flesh after feeding on smaller fish. So if you’re stranded in tropical waters, you’re better off eating seaweed.

Polar bears

Avoid at all costs. Image credit: Anette Holmberg via Flickr

A polar bear’s liver contains an extremely high concentration of vitamin A. This is due to their vitamin A rich diet of fish and seals. The Eskimos have long been wary of eating the polar bear for this reason, but it’s something the early Artic explorers found out the hard way.

Ingesting the liver can cause vitamin A poisoning known as acute hypervitaminosis A. This results in vomiting, hair loss, bone damage and even death. So although actually capturing a polar bear may seem life threatening, it turns out that eating its liver is just as deadly.

Hooded pitohui

Beautiful but extremely toxic. Image credit: Charles Davies via Flickr

Just touching the Hooded pitohui can cause your skin to become numb, or start to burn. The Hooded pitohui contains a very potent neurotoxin called batrachotoxins which they get from the small melyrid beetles they fed on. If ingested, the toxin will interfere with nerves and may cause muscle paralysis or muscle convulsions which can both be deadly. Native to New Guinea, locals refer to the Hood pitohui as a “rubbish bird” because of their bitter taste and potential to kill. The toxin is thought to protect the bird against predators like snakes, but it seems to work just as well against us.

These are just a few example of animals that it’s best to avoid. All throughout the world there are animals that are most dangerous to humans when they are longer living and about to be a meal. And as for the polar bear, it’s probably best to avoid direct contact with them all together.


Learn more:

Ciguatera Poisoning & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Will I die if I eat polar bear liver?

Discovery: First Scientifically Confirmed Poisonous Bird

8 Responses to “Eating these animals just might kill you”

  1. Shakira Milton says:

    Wow! This was cool… won’t be eating any polar bears anytime soon.

  2. William Coates says:

    Thanks 🙂 I guess some people are just willing to take the risk, seems crazy to me.

  3. William Coates says:

    yeah it’s interesting, I guess we had to find out sooner or later that some things aren’t be to eaten

  4. Joshua Munro says:

    Incredibly fascinating Will! It’s very scary to hear how people have found this out the hard way throughout history. It also goes to show the strength of evolution and natural selection. If consuming one individual is enough to harm you, then although that organism dies, the population may have an increased survival rate.

  5. Frances Kusuma says:

    Hi! Very interesting read! What are your thoughts on some japanese people still consuming dolphin or whale meat, despite it containing traces of mercury??

  6. Jinia says:

    I can’t imagine eating polar bear!

    Anyway I like the way you adding each animal photos so we know how they look like.

  7. Browne says:

    A bird that numbs you? CRAZY/amazing! thanks for sharing 😀

  8. Tessa Marshall says:

    I’ll keep this in mind if I’m ever stuck on a tropical island or in the Arctic!