Florida is sometimes considered America’s Australia. No, not because it was founded by convicts and outcasts–because of all the stuff here that can kill you. Here are a few of our favorites (just kidding, they’re terrifying):
We don't just talk about them all the time. Gators really are in almost every lake, river and swimming hole in Florida. They usually don't favor the cold water where people like to swim, but they do occasionally attack, and even kill, people.
Florida has some really aggressive sharks. More than half of the country's shark attacks in 2014 occurred in Florida.
If you've been in Florida a while, you're no stranger to hurricanes. Dangling off the country the way we do puts us at huge risk for damage from these scary cyclones.
Florida lightning is not just a a few sparks in the sky, it's deadly. Our state is the lightning capital of the country, and Floridians know lightning means get inside right away.
Bears don't usually attack people, but I still wouldn't want to get close to a mama bear with cubs in tow.
I doubt there are a lot of panther deaths in Florida every year, but I still wouldn't want to be alone with one in the woods at night. Just saying.
This one is no joke. Our highways often rank as some of the deadliest in the country. We can blame it on snowbirds and tourists, but it's still scary!
Mosquitoes are the state bird of Florida. Not only are they annoying, they can carry deadly diseases such as West Nile Virus.
It's bad enough we have hurricanes, but we're also vulnerable to tornadoes and water spouts.
10. The Water
If all these terrifying animals in the water don't kill you, the water itself can still do the job. Rip current is a big problem, especially for weak or inexperienced swimmers, so always, always pay close attention to kids at the beach. If you've ever been caught in one of these, you know it's really scary.
Though we don't talk about it too often, Florida is at risk for wildfires. I remember as a kid seeing ash fall from the sky (still never seen snow here), and learning it was caused by nearby wildfires.
There are a few scary insects you can stumble upon in Florida, such as the Brown Widow seen here. Luckily, deaths from insects like these are much less likely these days, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't educate yourself on local wildlife and what to do in an encounter.
Most of us are used to it down here, but that doesn't change the fact that extreme heat (and dehydration) can kill. So please, everyone, take precautions and keep yourself and family members safe.
Florida has lots of snakes, but the nonnative Burmese Pythons are duking it out with alligators now in South Florida. Have you ever seen a snake swallow an alligator? It's not a pretty sight. Oh yeah, and it's terrifying.
Have you encountered any of these terrifying things living in Florida? Do you have any other frightening stuff to add to our list? Please leave your comments below!