I’m not particularly afraid of insects. I can smash a spider with my shoe or flick away a bee without a second thought. But some foreign critters are worthy of worry—even I am not okay with clusters of worms suddenly appearing inches before my face.

This happened to me while I was on a family vacation to an island off of South Carolina. It was only a short walk through picturesque, tree-lined paths to the beach. Yet this short walk required me to struggle through curtains of little green silk worms hanging from the trees by invisible threads. This test of psychological strength was not something the island had advertised.

While South Carolina luckily isn’t exactly a hotbed of poisonous creatures, the same can’t be said of all places. Any list of deadly critters would be incomplete without Australia, which contains some of the most dangerous animals in the world. Those little green worms pale in comparison to the Sydney funnel web spider, for example. The spider contains a lethal dose of venom and can sneak its way into urban areas.

Even pesky mosquitoes can pack a wallop if they are carrying anything from malaria to yellow fever. These tiny terrors are in good company with fleas, ticks, and sand flies, all of which can also cause a variety of sometimes-deadly diseases.

Don’t let information like this and photographs like these dissuade you from going abroad. Just remember to protect yourself with proper vaccinations, research, and common sense.

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