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Hong Kong’s Scariest Animals

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Ellie Kate

When you think of Hong Kong’s scariest animals, not much comes to mind, beyond crowds of investment bankers.

So, it may intrigue you to know that some pretty nasty creepy crawlies occupy the dark corners of Hong Kong, hidden away in the foliage and watery depths.

In my quest to find these mythical beasts, all roads seemed to lead to Lantau. The island that’s home to the airport and Disneyland, is also where you’re more likely to run into one of dozens of terrifying critters. Giant spiders, snakes, One Direction, dreadlocks, trail runners and huge wasps? Lantau.

So without further ado, here are Hong Kong’s scariest animals:

Golden Orb-Weaver

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Image courtesy of

What sounds like the title of a beloved children’s book, is in fact a giant greedy bastard of a spider that preys on snakes and birds. They’re the kind of spider that looks like they had a cameo in Lord of the Rings and if they cross your path, thou shalt not pass! They can weave a whopper of a web and have had lots of time to practice – the species has been around for over 165 million years!

Giant Centipedes


Image courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo

These guys can land a pretty nasty bite and are more common than you think in Hong Kong. Big, long and red, they’re not hard to spot – but once you do, I recommend moving in the opposite direction. These creepy fellas come ready to fight.

Chinese Cobra

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Image courtesy of field herp forum

There’s always a snake on these lists, right? This one is venomous, aggressive and you’ll be able to spot it by the horseshoe-shaped white pattern across the back of its head.I have an inherent respect for the snake and feel it’s unfairly labelled with its dangerous reputation, considering they are super sensitive and likely to be long gone before you come thundering through the bushes.

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish


Image courtesy of

Summer is jellyfish season in Hong Kong. The king of whom is easily the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish. With tentacles as long as 10m and covered in stingers, they STILL sting even when they break off. You’ve got to admire that commitment.

So those are the highlights. There’s a few others that include a poisonous toad, wasps, snakes that live in the ocean and the blue-ringed octopus – which can paralyse an adult in less than a minute. There’s no antidote.

But, hey! Don’t let that stop you swimming in our seas and hiking up our hills because all of these animals are pretty chilled unless disturbed. And also, because you’re more likely to see them if you’re on Lantau.

So ask yourself, do you really need to see the Big Buddha?


Ellie Kate

Ellie Kate is one half of  The Quick Word Company , a creative copywriting and content creation studio in Hong Kong. Born and raised in Hong Kong she lives and breathes every corner of this awesome city.