The spirit of Hawaii is that of charm and friendliness, and when you arrive at this location, you will feel that vibe going on. The gorgeous scenery, stunning beaches, fun activities, and friendliness of the Hawaiian people make it an ideal destination for any tourist. 

Whether you are running away from the harsh cold weather or need some island vibes, Hawaii is the place to visit. Hawaii state is made up of several islands. A couple of islands are not inhabited by people because of the terrain and government restrictions.


However, the beaches of Hawaii are welcoming, and there is so much more than you can do on the island. You can visit the Hawaii volcanoes national park, and this is where there has been a volcanic eruption since the early 80s. 

However, Hawaii’s location is an ideal home for extremely dangerous animals. Here are the most dangerous animals in Hawaii:


The warm water of the pacific oceans encourages the growth of different shark species, and they usually swim in large numbers towards Hawaii. It is widely known that about forty species of sharks usually visit Hawaii and hence the need to be careful when swimming in the ocean or enjoying your watersports.

Some of the most dangerous shark species include Galapagos sharks, make sharks, bull sharks, great white sharks, hammerhead sharks, and tiger sharks. A sunset or sunrise in the ocean can be an excellent idea.

However, you should know your location before visiting it because the shark species around the islands can be very dangerous.

The sharks usually do not just come and bite.

Further reading: Wildlife in Hawaii

They typically have a period when they want to go and hunt, and this is when they are primarily aggressive and hence the need to take caution if you are going to enjoy some time in the ocean. It is good to talk to people who understand the waters to avoid injuries.

These sharks usually consume seals, dolphins, birds, squid, turtles, and fish.

Crown of Thorns Starfish

The starfish in Hawaii is among the giant sea creatures, and the surface of the fish is usually filled with spines that are venomous hence the need to take precaution.

The crown thorns starfish in Hawaii can grow up to 15 inches wide, and they are known to have arms or spines which usually carry a large amount of venom.

When the fish spikes you, they can virtually penetrate any surface, and the neurotoxin will go into your body and cause harm to the cells.

The toxin is dangerous because it induces cell death. Some of the toxin effects include vomiting, nausea, persistent bleeding, swelling of tissues, among others.

Therefore, it is important that if you step on a starfish, you should consult your physician or visit the nearest clinic immediately because this can cause discomfort and, in some cases, death.

More to read: Dangerous animal in Jamaica


Centipedes are known to inhabit different parts of the Hawaiian island. There are several types of centipedes that you can find in Hawaii. The centipedes usually prefer dark and damp places; hence you should choose a room that is kept dry at all times with air conditioning if possible.

Centipedes may seem harmless at first. However, these creatures can bite, and when they do, they deposit toxins on the victim, which causes a burning sensation in the area affected.

The poison from the centipede can cause swelling, nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties. Therefore, it is important that when you are visiting the island of Hawaii, you should be familiar with places that may have centipedes.

In addition, if you are allergic to many things, then a bite from the centipede can prove lethal. If you suspect that a centipede has bitten you, consult your physician immediately.


A box jellyfish

Different species of jellyfish can be found on the Hawaiian island. The waters of Hawaii are rich in creatures, and jellyfish are not left behind. The box jellyfish is the most common species in Hawaii, and the name is derived from the shape of the jellyfish.

When you encounter this type of jellyfish, you might think that it is just a small creature.

However, with a sting from the beast, you will feel something different in your body. The venom is quite dangerous, and it will cause itching, burning sensation, swelling of tissues, and breathing problems.

The jellyfish tentacles can reach up to two feet and are known to deliver a very lethal sting to the victim. The box jellyfish has a unique shape, and their color is almost something of camouflage because you can never see them.

If you are stung by a jellyfish, you should visit the nearest clinic or consult with your physician.


Snails are usually less dangerous creatures because they wander around with their glossiness. However, in Hawaii, you should take precautions because the snails in this region can sting you.

When the snail delivers its venom to the victim, it is very painful, and the nerve endings are usually damaged during the process. Therefore, you must consider an immediate medical checkup if you are stung by a snail.

Further reading: Poisonous snails in Hawaii

The cone snail in Hawaii is made up of over thirty species, and they have wonderful patterns on their body and vibrant colors as well. You may be tempted to pick them up, and this is when you will know that the snails can be dangerous.

They usually have a harpoon style to deliver the venom to the victim. When the snail delivers the venom to your body, you will have very sharp pains. A snail sting is similar to that of a bee sting. They often cause very sharp pains and swelling of the tissues.

More to read: Most dangerous animals in Croatia



Many people do not know eels because they have never encountered them in real life. However, when you visit Hawaii, there is a high chance of encountering these creatures.

Some of the common eel species in Hawaii include snowflake ells, dragon moray eels, and Moray eels.

These eels usually thrive in coral-encrusted areas, and they like to stay in places with rock openings. They have razor-sharp teeth, and they can cause severe damage to the victim.

When visiting Hawaii, you should take your time to know your area because you may encounter the eels. Hawaii has some of the best places for swimming and scuba diving, and you should avoid the places where eels are known to thrive.

Eels can be very dangerous because they strike at lightning speed, and the power from the creature can cause muscle, tendon, and ligament damage. Some of the biggest eels are usually five feet long, and they are very picky eaters yet very aggressive.

Moray eel

The moray eels are some of the most dangerous animals that you can find in Hawaii. Since the waters in the islands offer a perfect temperature, the eels usually thrive in this area. There are over 80 species of moray eels in Hawaii. They typically stay under the rocks, and you should be careful when swimming because you are likely to encounter them.

Some of the moray eels in Hawaii can reach up to 13 feet in length, and they have very sharp teeth.

The eels can cause paralysis, and they are very active during the night hence avoiding the areas frequented by these eels at night. In addition, they will exhibit aggressive behaviors at night because they are looking for food.

Brown tree snake

The brown tree snake is one of a kind creature found in the Hawaiian Islands.

The local government of Hawaii has made it illegal to own any snake. This brown tree snake remains in the wild, and if you are visiting Hawaii for adventure and exploring the national park and the dense tropical forests, you should be wary of this creature.

The snake is originally from Guam, and they have multiplied to make large numbers in Hawaii that they are threatening the number of birds on the island. The brown tree snake is characterized by protruding eyes, large heads, and brown bodies.

They have venom that they can inject into the victim. This species of snakes are usually aggressive hence the need to be careful when visiting their habitat.


One of the main features of the scorpions in Hawaii is that you are less likely to see any of them because they are very good at hiding.

During the day, they hide in caves and trees, and when the night approaches, they are back to life looking for food.

The brown scorpion is a popular species in Hawaii, and it is found in basements, attics, bathrooms, among other places.

However, it is important to note the scorpion can deliver venom that affects your neurons. When this happens, you are likely to lose your muscle function. In addition, the area affected by the toxin will swell, and you will experience breathing difficulties.

Therefore, when visiting the Hawaiian Islands, you must ensure the area you are going to spend your time is well lit, and there are no crevices that the creature can hide.

More to read: What are the most dangerous animals in Laos?

Red Velvet Ant 

The red velvet ant may come across as a small ant species. However, this is not the case because they are known to cause more harm to people than anything else. Technically, the red velvet ant is a wasp whose sting is usually lethal and venomous.

The female does not fly while the males do.

There are over thirty thousand wasp species in Hawaii, and when you visit the island, you must maintain safety at all times.

The females are the dangerous group of wasps because they usually sting and cause severe damage to your cells and tissues.

The sting from these female wasps can kill a cow hence the need to avoid areas where they are frequent.

Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

The yellow-bellied snake of Hawaii is one of the most dangerous creatures that you can find on the island.

The snake is very venomous, and you should avoid the areas they are staying in because you do not want to experience severe pains and swelling of tissues.

The snake is characterized by a yellow stomach and a brown-black pattern.

The snake’s scales are usually smooth, and you might confuse them to be docile.

However, they are known to drift in hundreds and thousands. They are very dangerous, and just like other snakes, they are neurotoxic, and they can be very harmful to humans.

They are very rare in Hawaii. However, you will see them when you visit the island’s mountains.

Black Widow

Black Widow spider has definitely a very dangerous reputation and you can actually find 2 species of them in Hawaii: Black Widow and Brown Widow.

If you happen to be bitten by these spiders, we really recommend you visit local doctor just in case. They are not life-threatening, but can cause a lot of pain, redness, and swelling.

The Brahminy blind snake

The Brahminy snake is a famous creature because it is the smallest snake known to live on the Hawaiian island.

They are usually about 10 centimeters long and can be very vicious. They burrow under the earth, and they are often confused with earthworms. However, you should be very careful when visiting the island because they can be lethal.

FAQ about dangerous animals in Hawaii

Are there any big predators in Hawaii?

No, you will not find any huge predators like beers, tigers, crocodiles or wolves which can attack you out of nowhere or are extremely dangerous and vulnerable to changing environments (like beers attack if they are with a cub and they feel attacked if you just walk by).

What is the most dangerous animal in Hawaii?

The most dangerous animal in Hawaii is box jellyfish, so try to avoid them in the water as best as you can. Their venom is strong enough to cause human cells to become porous enough so that can cause cardiovascular collapse and death as quickly as 2-5 minutes

In Hawaii, box jellyfish numbers are the biggest around seven to ten days after a full moon, as they swim near the beaches to spawn. Sometimes, because of big numbers, the beaches are completely closed to keep people safe.

What dangerous animals live in Hawaii on land?

The most dangerous animals on land in Hawaii would be scorpions and different kinds of snakes. As well try to avoid startled wild pigs or centipedes (they can sting, but it is not deadly)

Is it safe to swim in Hawaii?

Yes, it is safe and most of the accidents happen not because of sharks or other animals, it happens because of weather conditions or swimmer fitness and other related problems. There are only 3-4 shark attacks per year in Hawaii. So you should not be worried, but, of course, be careful and listen to the safeguards.

Are there alligators in Hawaii?

No, alligators are not native to Hawaii. The most dangerous animals in the waters of Hawaii are sharks.

No, Hawaii has no bears, so wild camping is much safer, than, for example, in Canada.

Are there spiders in Hawaii?

Yes, there are more than 200 species of spiders in Hawaii, but they are in most cases not venomous or dangerous. The most dangerous kind of spider is Black Widow and their bite would require you to visit the doctor.  You will find the information here: Black Widow in Hawaii.
Daring Jumping Spider is another spider whose bite can cause redness and swelling.
Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.