Lethal Lurkers

Urban legends about dangerous animals that lurk among us.

We like to think that the division between the parts of the planet inhabited by man and the parts that form the domains of wild animals is a clear one. We stay in our world; they stay in theirs. When animals are invited into our world, it's because we think we can control them: they're pets, they're domesticated livestock, or they're kept in cages where they can't hurt us. Sometimes the mice upset the best-laid plans of the men, however . . .

White bullet Tourist in foreign country brings home stray dog, then learns it's actually a rat.

Red bullet Alligators dwell in the sewers beneath New York City.

White bullet Giant catfish frighten divers sent to repair dams.

Red bullet Love Bugs are the result of a genetic experiment gone wrong.

Red bullet Thousands of Japanese pet owners were victimized by swindlers who sold them sheep and told them they were poodles

Red bullet A man in Ireland killed by the bite of a deadly redback spider

green bullet Kissing bugs, which can spread the parasite that causes Chagas Disease, have been found in the United States.

Red bullet A photograph of tick eggs is circulating on Facebook.

David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.