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Murder slugs and piss ants: Sweden’s top ten most dangerous animals

The Local · 20 Aug 2012, 16:23

Published: 20 Aug 2012 16:23 GMT+02:00

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I was talking to a Swede the other day when the conversation turned to animals. She, a proud, clever and perhaps somewhat sheltered Swede, had the audacity to compare what she called Sweden’s “dangerous” wildlife with Australia’s.

Coming from way Down Under myself, I told her my best tales of bloodthirsty sharks and deadly spiders, venomous snakes and psychotic koalas.

However, this Swede was nonplussed by my anecdotes.

“Well, we have these ants,” she said. “They’re called pissmyror (literally piss-ants) and can pee on you and leave you in pain for a whole day. Sometimes longer.”


Then she started talking about the dangerous flies. As she delved into an animated account about how the flies can take a huge chunk out of your leg (or something similarly ridiculous), I drifted off into my own thoughts.

Surely there’s more to the Swedish wilderness than piss-ants, right?

What’s the Great White Shark of Sweden? How is a wayward tourist most likely to become an un-tourist? And while I’m at it, how vicious is the so-called murder slug?

Story continues below…

These questions are answered in the following gallery, where the most dangerous animals of Sweden have been rated and ranked… starting with number 10.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:17 August 20, 2012 by Erefus
One of the things I love the most about sweden/scandinavia. The wildlife here are allmost completely innocuous and most animals are quite cute.
17:41 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
think Oliver is a city boy, elk don't expect food, perhaps only those around city parks? They should be way down the list. Ticks should be higher up the list. Male wild boars don't attack to defend young, it's the mothers! Everyone knows never come between a mother and her young, regardless of the species! Given the quality of his research, no fish, a pike or crayfish for comedy value!? European Hornet? They sting a bit more that Mosquito.
17:43 August 20, 2012 by playmobil
even vegetation let you go bare foot in the forest.. its a garden.
23:10 August 20, 2012 by markusd
Don't forget about the deadly Swedish Hare. I almost ran into one a few weeks ago as I was riding my bike at over 40 kph. I could have been dead just as quickly as an encounter with a salt water croc or box jellyfish. Alright, I admit I'd probably just get really scraped up but the Swedish Hare is not only more deadly than the Murder Slug it is much cuter as well.
00:16 August 21, 2012 by Emerentia
What about jellyfish...they might not kill people but it can hurt pretty bad.
03:45 August 21, 2012 by Svensksmith
It's the two-legged, two-faced, forked tongue polititian that I fear the most.
06:26 August 21, 2012 by Shinobuden
"As she delved into an animated account about how the flies can take a huge chunk out of your leg (or something similarly ridiculous), I drifted off into my own thoughts."

These flies are actually quite real. There are flies that we call Bronze Flies who sit down on any of your exposed body parts (not covered by clothes) and take a good bite out of you, I know since I've had one do it to me. They're a little bigger than normal flies but at first glance it's hard to tell the difference. The numbing pain of having your skin chewed off is the only real way to tell whether it's a regular fly or a bronze fly.
08:59 August 21, 2012 by Åskar
Bees and wasps should top that list (and ticks are not insects).
09:54 August 21, 2012 by rise
Why isn't surströmming on the list - the so called fish only need to use its stank for instantly making you vomit.

But joking apart, the article shouldn't have called the mosquito "disease free". Why it is the spreader of Tularemia (rabbit fever). If infected by it, you need hospital care.
16:18 August 21, 2012 by l33tshane
love the humour in this - wish i lived in sweden!
17:56 August 22, 2012 by Ulvenkai
haha! Excellent article. Loved it :)
04:40 August 25, 2012 by Frank Lee
The number one animal you cited is in fact a moose, not an elk. What Swedes call an aelg is what English-speakers, or at least North Americans, call a moose. Is this a North American English versus British/Australian English divide? I don't think so. In any case, moose are not native to Australia and long ago went extinct in Scotland, so I think we can let the North Americans decide this one: it's a moose.
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