Randy Krum
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The Deadliest Animal in the World

The Deadliest Animal in the World is an infographic posted by Bill Gates on his blog as part of Mosquito Week.

What would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?

Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws. But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.

When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. Take a look:

Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it.

This infographic does a number of things right from a design perspective, but the major point is that as humans we see the two-dimensional area of objects as representing the values.  This design uses both the width and height of the rectangles to visualize the scale of deaths caused by the various animals.

Sometimes it might be too subtle.  For example, the width is the same for the rectangles for tapeworms and crocodiles, but the height of the tapeworm box has twice the height to represent the value correctly.

The other thing it does well is to tell one story really well.  There’s isn’t any extraneous information like geographic locations or animal populations.  The infographic focuses on communicating one set of data.

Because the infographic will be shared online without the rest of the article, there are three piece of information that are missing from this design:

  1. The Gates Notes logo, or some type of identification of who published the infographic
  2. A copyright or Creative Commons license state to clearly identify the rights for people sharing the infographic
  3. The URL of the article where readers can find the original, full-size infographic and the associated text.

Thanks to Peter for recommending the link!

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Reader Comments (3)

Got to say, this chart really bugs me for two reasons. One is that it implies that these are the fifteen deadliest animals in the world, which isn't accurate by any metric. And the second, related reason is that sharks are on the list. You don't mess around with sharks, obviously, but it seems that every "deadliest animals" list must have sharks on it even though the vast majority of species don't ever see humans as food. And it is precisely because it is the bravest human being in the world who can go swimming in the sea with the theme tune from Jaws playing on their waterproof iPod that sharks shouldn't be on the list. We already overestimate the dangerousness of sharks. It seems a little irresponsible to promote the idea that sharks are out to get us when so many shark species are endangered.
May 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris Moore
Here is a list of another top 10 deadliest animals

Interesting list, Of course, some of the interesting and deadliest list you can find hetre http://www.billionairesnewswire.com/10-deadliest-animals-world/
June 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
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