It’s Monday morning, and you’re at work (again). The lift doors open, and you step inside while rubbing sleep from your eyes. You press the button for the third floor, and watch as the doors close in front of you.
Suddenly it hits you, a wave of intense dread. You are not alone. You have no idea how this has happened, but it’s happened. You’re now stuck in a lift with twelve of the world’s deadliest animals. Good luck!
1) Polar Bear
If WWE ever staged a Royal Rumble for the animal kingdom, a pretty terrible idea we’ll admit, there’s a fair chance that the mighty Polar Bear would be the last thing left alive. Why? Because they’re the world’s largest land carnivore, and an absolute powerhouse of nature, that’s why.
Get stuck in a lift with one of these bad boys, and your head would be a pulpy globule of red before you could say “Oh my good heavens! Is that a fully-grown polar bear I see before me?"
When you think about hippos you probably think about the family-friendly board game Hungry Hippos, or the smiley one that flogs mattresses for Silent Night. You probably don’t picture them violently assaulting humans and chewing peoples' limbs off. Unfortunately for you, now trapped in a lift with one, that’s exactly what they’re capable of.
Did you know? Hippos are actually responsible for more human deaths than any other large animal in Africa. An interesting fact, if ever there was one! Stick that in your QI pipe and smoke it, Mr BBC.
3) Komodo Dragon
If you’ve watched Game of Thrones, you’ll know that dragons can be seriously hardcore. The Komodo dragon might not be capable of flying, or incinerating its victims with firestorms, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t kick your arse in a lift.
Look at that face. Look at the brooding intensity. Look how intense it looks. Go on, take a look. Look at the intense-ness I dare you. In fact, I double-dog-dare you. No returns.
4) Black Mamba
Not to be mistaken for Lou Bega’s ‘Mambo Number 5’, the Black Mamba is one of the most feared animals on earth. Known as “death incarnate" (to its friends), this snake is thought by many to be the world’s fastest. Factor in its highly aggressive nature, and you’ve got yourself one terrifying lift companion.
Without quick and vigorous anti-venom therapy, a bite from a Black Mamba is fatal 100% of the time. These serpents aren’t fooling around. Get envenomed by one, and you could be as dead as a doornail within twenty minutes. No wonder then that the locals call a Black Mamba bite, the “kiss of death."
5) Brazilian Wandering Spider
No. The Brazilian Wandering Spider is not a nickname for international soccer sensation Neymar Junior. If only it was. Instead, say a nervous “hello" to the world’s most venomous spider. These guys love nothing more than going for a stroll and frightening anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with them.
Yes, we're afraid to announce that these eight-legged monstrosities exist right here on planet earth. If you’ve just suffered a sudden trouser catastrophe, don’t worry. You’re not the only one. These things are scary enough to make even the bravest of people soil themselves in terror.
6) Box Jellyfish
They might look like condoms from the future, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. If there’s one place you definitely don’t want a box jellyfish to be, it’s on or around your gentleman’s sausage.
7) Deathstalker Scorpion
In the words of William Shakespeare, “a DeathStalker scorpion by any other name would kill you just as horribly."
Doing exactly what they say on the tin, these lethal chaps are responsible for over 75% of scorpion related fatalities every year. Victims of the DeathStalker can expect to suffer unbearable pain, coma, convulsions and paralysis. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll end up drowning to death in your own fluids. Nice.
8) Poison Dart Frog
Looking like a Klaxons fan, hopelessly clinging to the nu-rave scene, the Poison Dart Frog has enough poison on its skin to kill an army of 20,000 mice. The deadliest of the Poison Dart Frogs, known as the Golden Frog, is packing enough lethal toxin to kill anywhere between ten and twenty humans.
Fairytale princesses of the world, you have be warned. Do not, under any circumstances, kiss this frog. Seriously, even if it starts complimenting your hair and saying nice things about your face. These colourful frogs are only after one thing. The absolute bastards.
9) Blue Ringed Octopus
Much like the Poison Dart Frog, this golf-ball sized hipster still thinks it’s 2007. Dressed from head to tentacle in neon circles, the Blue Ringed Octopus is clearly a massive fan of Hadouken! Remember Hadouken? They were rubbish.
This real-life Pokémon contains enough venom to kill twenty-six fully-grown adults. To make matters worse, there is officially no antidote. This monster would bite you, paralyse you, and rave around your slowly suffocating corpse while juggling glow sticks.
10) Cone Snail
Cone snails are equipped with an arsenal of toxic harpoons. These potentially deadly missiles can be fired in any direction, even backwards. A WMD of the snail world, these are nothing like the friendly ones you find in your back garden.
Severe cone snail stings can lead to muscular paralysis, loss of vision, respiratory failure and death. This is a gastropod then that French chefs should probably steer well clear of. No amount of salt, garlic, and pepper could make one of these seem even remotely appetising.
11) Africanized Honey Bee
The history of the Africanized Honey Bee reads like an origin story for a Marvel comic book villain. The result of an experiment gone wrong, these genetically mixed “killer bees" escaped captivity in 1957. With one eye on world domination, they quickly spread throughout the Americas.
Easily provoked, and highly aggressive, these guys pursue their victims for miles on end. Considering you’re stuck in a lift, and have nowhere to run, that’s not exactly great news.
Mosquitoes rack up the kills with all the dead-eyed glee of an online gamer playing Call Of Duty. Let them get close to you and they’ll treat your crimson fluids like a delicious strawberry milkshake, sucking it up through a nozzle-thing that’s attached to their face.
In an average year, these tiny vampires transmit enough disease to kill 725,000 people. The worst of these diseases is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 humans per annum. On that basis, they’re statistically the deadliest of your lift companions.
The lift doors open, and let’s face it, you’re dead. You're definitely dead. If it’s any consolation to your horribly mangled corpse, the zookeeper responsible for this fiasco will probably be fired.
If you thought sharing a confined space with Kevin McShitty-Knickers from Human Resources was bad, think again.
It could be so much worse.