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21 Dangerous Animals You Can Only Find in Latin America

Some of the most dangerous animals in the world inhabit Latin America. While most prey on other species, some are known to harm and even kill humans if they come into contact with them.

1. Amazonian Giant Centipede

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The world’s biggest centipede, the Amazonian giant centipede can reach 14 inches in length. These carnivorous centipedes are found throughout South America, and kill prey by injecting a toxic venom. Although a bite will not kill people, it can cause a great deal of pain, along with swelling and fever.

2. Black Caiman

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One of the largest members of the crocodile family, the black caiman is native to the Amazon Basin and other freshwater Latin American areas. It is the largest predator in the Amazon, and like its alligator cousins further north, has been known to prey on people. The black caiman is endangered because it has been hunted extensively for leather.

3. Brazilian Wandering Spider

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The bite of this large, brown spider can kill people, especially small children. It is considered one of the most venomous spiders on the planet. They are also known as banana spiders or armed spiders. The eight species of these spiders are found throughout Brazil and the rest of Latin America.

4. Bullet Ant

Credit: Scribol. Digital Image. http://scribol.com/environment/animals-environment/20-nightmarish-animals-lurk-amazon-river/8/

The bullet ant is so named because its sting is akin to being hit by a bullet. While a sting is extremely painful, it’s unlikely to prove fatal to a human unless they are stung by thousands of the creatures. Officially known as Paraponera clavate, the bullet ant is found in lower rainforests ranging from Nicaragua to Paraguay.

5. Bull Shark

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These stout sharks are the likeliest to attack humans. While they are more often found in the Gulf of Mexico, they are known to live in the Amazon River.

6. Electric Eel

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More appropriately known as the knifefish, the electric eel lives in the basins of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers. The electric eel does generate electricity, and while the shock is not likely to kill a person, it could prove temporarily incapacitating and the individual might drown.

7. Giant Otter

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The endangered giant otter is found only in the Amazon, La Plata and Orinoco river areas. A member of the weasel family, it is the longest type of its species at 6 feet and adults may weigh as much 75 pounds. Giant otters live in large family groups and seldom threaten people, but there are reports of attacks on humans. Overall, though, humans are responsible for the vulnerable status of this animal due to poaching for the fur trade.

8. Green
Anaconda

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Weight wise, the green anaconda is the world’s largest snake, but at 17 feet, it’s also quite long. While it rarely attacks humans, the green anaconda has been known to take down other large and carnivorous species, including jaguars. With its green body and black and yellow belly scales, the snake is a master of camouflage. They are found in rivers, streams and marshes throughout tropical Latin America.

9. Golden Poison Dart Frog

 Credit: Pixabay. Digital Image. https://pixabay.com/en/golden-poison-frog-frog-279940/

This beautiful small frog is also the world’s deadliest. Native to Colombia’s Pacific Coast, the area’s indigenous people used the poison from this frog on darts while hunting to kill prey. Anyone touching this frog will likely die within minutes. The frog’s skin contains the toxin, which causes rapid heart failure in victims.

10. Goliath Bird Eating Spider

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This spider belongs to the tarantula family and is found throughout northern South America. In terms of sheer mass, it is the world’s largest spider. Humans are rarely bitten, and then only when the spider is defending itself. For people, the bite is comparable to a bee or wasp sting.

11. Harpy Eagle

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The biggest and most powerful raptor in the rainforest, the harpy eagle’s natural habitat ranges from Mexico to Argentina. However, development has destroyed much of its habitat and the bird is increasingly rare. The harpy eagle has been known to carry off livestock such as lambs and kids – baby goats, not humans – and has few natural predators other than man. The female is twice the size as the male, and pairs mate for life.

12. Humboldt Squid

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Also known as the jumbo squid, the Humboldt squid is found in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Peru and Mexico. They are known for aggression towards people found
in their wake.

13. Jaguar

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The biggest cat in the Western Hemisphere, the South American jaguar is heavier than its feline wild cousins in North America. Although they have vanished in many areas, they are still found in Peru and neighboring countries. Jaguars do not usually attack people, but have been known to kill small children in the past.

14. Jararaca

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This large snake is found in southern Brazil and northern Argentina, and is one of the most likely snakes to bite humans in the region. The bite may cause shock and kidney failure, and can kill the victim without prompt treatment.

15. Kissing Bug

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The kissing bug sounds like such an innocuous name, but keep in mind it is also known as the vampire bug or the assassin bug. Found throughout Latin America, this bug can transmit a fatal infection known as Chagas through its feces. Chagas doesn’t cause instant death, but infected people are prone to developing heart disease. The name kissing bug comes from its tendency to bite sleeping humans on the mouth, but it is poop and not the bite that transmits Chagas.

16. Mexican Beaded Lizard

Credit: Wikimedia. Digital image. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Heloderma_horridum.jpg

A relative of the better-known Gila monster, this lizard resides in western Mexico. These two lizards are also the only venomous members of their species. However, humans are unlikely to suffer the consequences of this carnivorous lizard’s venom, as the venom is distributed by the animal actually chewing into its prey. Mexican beaded lizards are endangered in the wild.

17. Pit Viper

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These serpents make up the majority of venomous snakes in Latin America, and their bite rate on the local populace is relatively high. Such bites primarily cause deep tissue damage, but can prove fatal to some individuals.

18. Red-Bellied
Piranha

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This piranha species is named for its red coloring from its face to its belly. When full-grown, this deadly fish may weigh up to four pounds. Red-bellied piranhas travel in schools of up to 20 individuals throughout the Amazon River basin. While this fish is naturally aggressive, attacks on humans are relatively uncommon.

19. South American Rattlesnake

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This is the only rattlesnake found throughout Latin America with the exception of the Andes Mountains, and it is also the most dangerous. Each year, several people in the region die from the bite of this snake, although lack of access to medical treatment is also a factor in these deaths. There are various subspecies of this rattlesnake which vary in color from light to dark, but all sport the familiar diamondback pattern.

20. Terciopelo
Snake

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Also known as the fer-de-lance, this venomous species ranges from Mexico to northern South America. Because is often found near human dwellings, it is considered especially dangerous. When disturbed, they are known to vigorously attack.

21. Tree Boa

Credit: Pixabay. Digital Image. https://pixabay.com/en/green-tree-boa-snake-300936/

Although the tree boa is not venomous, it can wrap itself around the neck of prey, choking its victim to death. While this does not often happen with human, it is a possibility. Native to the South American rainforests, the tree boa reaches 6 feet in length when full-grown. While the tree boa is green, body markings vary according to subspecies.

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Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

Culture

Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

I guarantee that since Beyonce’s hit anthem ‘Formation’ hit the airwaves, we’ve all been wanting to channel our inner Bey and carry some hot sauce in our bags. But which one would you choose?  

Whether you prefer sweet and sour, ranch, spicy, or mild, when it comes to options, the possibilities are endless!

A sauce’s beauty is that every country has its famous creation that usually accompanies their traditional dishes. Every Latin American country has its mouth-watering sauce that was created using recipes passed down from ancestors.

AJILIMOJILI

In Puerto Rico, this sauce is quite popular because of its ají dulce flavor – a mix of sweet and sour notes. The green salsa is the Caribbean’s version of hot sauce and is added to recipes, such as seafood and boiled vegetables.

VALENTINA

Few of us don’t know about the magic that is Valentina. Pour that sauce all over your papas, pizza, jicama, elotes, and so much more. And it’s great because it’s available in a variety of heat levels so everyone can enjoy. 

TIÁ LUPITA HABANERO SAUCE

This Habanero Hot Sauce is an original family recipe of the brand and combines just the right amount of heat with each fruit’s natural sweetness. It is handmade in small batches, using only habanero peppers, dates, mangos, and spices. All ingredients are sourced from local farms and are non-GMO and gluten-free certified.

The sauce can be used as a condiment with breakfast burritos, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork, steak, chicken, fish, quesadillas, and more.

CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is mostly tied to Argentina, even though other countries also serve the herb-based salsa. To achieve the perfect chimichurri, mix parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Pair with meat cuts like churrasco and watch the magic happen.

CHIRMOL

In Central America, chismol or chirmol is made of tomatoes, onion, peppers and other ingredients. It’s similar to pico de gallo and is used in a variety of dishes.

RICANTE

Sauce, dressing, dip, marinade… Ricante does it all and with no sugar or salt added and with just the right amount of approachable spice. Ricante is not only Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Friendly, but tiá approved!

Ricante launched with five incredibly unique hot sauces, marrying non-traditional essences like apples, mangos, carrots, and habaneros.

SALSA ROSA

Pastas are enjoyed all across Latin America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay, which pair the dishes with salsa rosa, a tomato-based sauce mixed with heavy cream. Together, they create a pink paste that blankets a variety of pasta dishes.

TACTICAL TACOS

Wait, so not all taco bases are citrus?! Tactical Tacos knows how to do taco sauce right with their notes of orange, lime, and cilantro to start your bite out just right, followed up with a perfect hint of Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper in the background. That’s just their mild sauce, Snafu. The Fire Fight and Ghost Protocol give you a similar ride with the citrus kick but with a much bigger spice hit for those that are brave enough to try it out!

MOLE

Mole is a spicy-and-sweet sauce made from chocolate that translates. The dark brown sauce gets its heat from chiles, but also has a touch of sweetness from the cacao, almonds, and peanuts often added. The sauce is topped with sesame seeds.

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There’s A Mysterious “Bat Cave” Full Of Blind Snakes Near Cancun And It’s Creepy AF

Things That Matter

There’s A Mysterious “Bat Cave” Full Of Blind Snakes Near Cancun And It’s Creepy AF

Mexico is full of incredible natural beauty, so it’s no wonder that it’s frequently one of the world’s most visited destinations. People love to visit the picturesque beaches, the ancient ruins, lively cities, and relaxed pueblos. But we would imagine that few people would add this mysterious ‘bat cave’ to their list of destinations, considering it’s full of blind snakes that hang from the ceiling to catch their prey. 

Mexico’s mysterious ‘bat cave’ is part of a truly unique ecosystem. 

Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s home to some of the world’s greatest beaches and tons of adventure at cenotes and Mayan ruins. But, apparently, it’s also home to a unique ecosystem that includes a so-called bat cave home to thousands of blind snakes that hang upside down. Yikes!

The cave, located less than 180 miles from Cancun’s spectacular beaches, is home to a species of blind, deaf snakes that feed mainly on flying bats.”This is the only place in the world where this happens,” Arturo Enrique Bayona Miramontes, the biologist who discovered it, told Newsweek.

The cave system remained completely unknown to tourists and surprised many scientists, who marveled as the jungle was peeled away to reveal another species, another hidden natural world.

The “cave of the hanging snakes” has a 65-foot wide mouth from which thousands of bats of seven different species swarm out every night, seeking food in and around Lake Chichancanab, some 2 miles away. When the bats return from nighttime feeding, some become food for the snakes.

The cave is a bat paradise – unless they become food for the blind and deaf snakes.

The giant cave is home to hundreds of thousands – perhaps even millions – of bats who cling to the cave’s roof. Joining them in the cave are a unique species of blind and deaf snakes that strike unsuspecting bats as they fly by.

The technique of the yellow-red rat snake is frighteningly precise, Bayona Miramontes said. “These snakes do not see or hear, but they can feel the vibrations of the bats flying, and they use that opportunity to hunt them with their body, suffocating their victims before gobbling them down.”

If you’re feeling adventurous, the cave is open to a limited number of visitors.

The cave is located nearby a very small Mayan community in Kantemó, on the Yucatan peninsula. Although the village is so small that it only has one church, the community has been working hard to protect this unique ecosystem.

Only 10 visitors are allowed inside the cave at a time and no photography is permitted. Since the pandemic began, the cave has been closed but it will reopen when the health department of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo allows tourism again.

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