From a lion’s roar to the chilling screams of an owl, nature is filled with weird, wonderful and oh so terrifying sounds. Sounds that would scare the bejesus out of you – or anyone for that matter!
What is the scariest animal noise, I wonder. After crawling through YouTube videos, I have to admit that all of the scary animal sounds I heard left shivers down my spine. As an avid true crime documentary watcher, I’m usually unscathed by the darkest sides of mankind. As for the dark sides of nature, I’m not so sure.
Here’s a list of the top ten scariest animal sounds that’ll stop you sleeping tonight. A little piece of advice: you might wanna listen to these with a friend!
#1: A Cougar’s Call
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, may look cute and cuddly, but the sounds they make will make your blood run COLD. Just listen to this footage of a mountain lion screaming at night. And don’t worry, nothing bad’s going to happen to you whilst you’re curled up under the covers! Seriously though, it’s a creepy animal sound at night that belongs in a horror movie.
Surprisingly, those screams you hear aren’t actually an act of aggression, but a mating call. They make these loud distinctive sounds to stand out of the crowd. It’s basically a cougar’s way of spritzing on parfum! Not exactly alluring to the average human, but extremely compelling to the cat species.
#2: An Owl Screaming
With their wide, piercing eyes, owls leave a lot of people unnerved. And those eerie “hoo hoo” vocalizations they make? Super creepy! But wait until you hear the bone-chilling sound of an owl screaming, like the one in this video. I can’t get that raspy, angry-sounding scream out of my head! Can you???
Usually, this scary sound is unleashed when they’re feeling threatened or guarding their young. It’s a scary forest animal sound that’ll haunt you for days – if not weeks.
#3: Cats Fighting
Ever been tucked up safely in bed and suddenly heard the terrifying screeching and wailing of two cats fighting? It sounds a lot like a baby crying in distress. Once you hear it, you really can’t forget it.
I remember the first time I heard it. I was in bed, convinced a baby was crying. Then I looked out the window to find two cats no more than a meter apart, hissing and screeching at each other. And they can go on this way for a long time until suddenly they’re tearing away at each other with their claws in round one of their brawling match.
If you’ve ever heard that distinct sound before, you’ll know how unnerving it is. A word of advice: unless they’re your cats, you might want to keep your distance. Getting in the middle of a cat fight often doesn’t end well!
#4: An Alligator’s Bellow
When alligators look for romance, they don’t dress up, spritz on their favorite perfume, or tell their best jokes. Instead, they let out a loud rumbling bellow to attract mates and scare off males. It’s a chilling sound that brings back memories of those bone-chilling movies where someone casually goes for a dip in the lake only to encounter a huge, growling gator looking for its next meal. *Goosebumps.*
When you hear that terrifying growl, you can almost feel your legs and arms frozen in the water waiting for the gator to approach.
#5: An Elephant Growling
In this video, you’re looking at an elephant yet hearing a lion. Strange huh? But it’s no trick! That’s what’s known as an elephant’s growl or roar. They usually make this sound when they’re afraid or feeling threatened in some way. Like for most animals, it’s an essential part of an elephant’s survival. At the end of the day, surviving the wild is all about keeping yourself safe and fending off predators. To do that, you need to make yourself sound big and scary so that predators don’t approach. Elephants are large enough to take care of themselves, but they still face threats like almost every other animal in nature. By making these loud, scary noises, they protect themselves from potential threats. Kinda smart when you think about it! Noted!
Then again, if I were that close to an elephant and heard those terrifying growls, I certainly wouldn’t stick around for long. That elephant’s definitely got me fooled!
#6: A Lion’s Roar
An African lion’s roar sure is scary. Maybe it doesn’t seem so terrifying in the comfort of your own home, but imagine if you were there, only meters away from the sound. Now that would scare the bejesus out of anyone! But there is a logical explanation for why these majestic creatures make this spine-chilling sound.
Lions roar for multiple reasons actually: to show health and strength, to communicate their location with other members of the pride, and to ward off intruders.
We’ve all seen the movies where the heroine finds his or herself face to face with a roaring lion. Lucky for you, you’ll probably never find yourself in that situation. But this clip will give you a glimpse into what it would feel like to come head to head with one of nature’s greatest predators. If you need the adrenaline rush, that is.
#7: An Elk’s Shrieks
During Elk mating season, elks let out piercing shrieks reminiscent of a child screaming. It’s one of those unforgettable sounds you struggle to get out of your head. But it’s no random noise. In fact, the reasoning behind it is rather innocent.
Elks usually let out this terrifying shriek when they’re ready for romance, as a way of announcing their availability and strength to females. It’s also a way of telling other bulls not to stand in their way. Brave bulls that interfere can expect to engage in a battle for access – and it’s definitely not pretty.
#8: A Gorilla’s Growl
Ever found yourself face to face with a gorilla? Nope, neither have I. But if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, this video clip will give you a good idea of how it would feel.
Gorillas are known as the gentle giants of the forest. But they do make a scary forest animal sound that would keep even the bravest soul at a distance. You certainly wouldn’t want to be out there on your own at night when you hear the aggressive call of a gorilla.
According to experts, roaring is typically only performed by silverbacks when a male feels threatened or is aiming to threaten another male. On the whole, gorillas are gentle, non-aggressive animals. Unless you upset them, of course!
#9: A Red Fox’s Scream
Red foxes make a wide range of vocalizations, including barks, yips, twitters and that blood-curdling scream, often known as “the vixen’s scream.” It’s usually performed by female foxes in search of a mate. However, male foxes will also let out this noise when looking for love.
If you live close to fixes, you may have heard this terrifying call in the middle of the night when foxes are particularly active. Did someone just commit a grisly murder? That’s what you’d think. In reality, it’s just a fox looking for a partner. Still, even when you do know the facts, it’s a noise that’ll haunt you for weeks.
If you hear this creepy animal sound at night, don’t worry. It’s most probably a red fox searching for a mate, not a blood-thirsty murderer on the loose.
#10: A Raven’s Alarm Call
Ravens are often associated with ill omen. That’s probably because they’re scavengers that gather in large numbers where animals are expected to die. Ravens also make a bone-chilling noise – the kind of creepy sound you’ve heard many times before in horror movies. When you hear a raven’s alarm call, you know something bad has happened – or is about to happen (at least in the movies, anyway).
Usually, they make a deep throaty noise to communicate with other ravens, or to warn others of intruders. It’s a scary forest animal sound that sends shivers down my spine – even though I couldn’t be further from a raven.
As for what is the scariest animal noise of them all, it’s hard to choose, but I’d have to go with the alligator’s bellow. I struggled to get through that video. Which animal sound on the list do you find the scariest?