MNN Galleries

10 scary animals that are totally harmless

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 25, 2010, 11:35 a.m.
A gharial at a zoo

Photo: Becker1999/flickr

7 of 12


A gharial looks like a crocodile in every respect except for its long, narrow snout. As a result these beasts are often thought to be man-eaters, just like their crocodilian cousins.

In reality, the gharial's thin jaws are fragile and incapable of consuming a large animal. Better adapted for hunting small fish, frogs and insects, gharials prefer to avoid people entirely.

Of course, you wouldn't want to place your finger inside its mouth, but aside from complete carelessness, these giant reptiles are totally harmless.