Which animals could Britons beat in a fight?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 21, 2021, 9:28 AM UTC

Things don’t look good for anyone confronted by anything scarier than a medium-sized dog

Last week, YouGov US revealed what animals Americans thought they could beat in unarmed combat. You all liked it so much in the UK that we’ve now done a British comparison study.

In terms of what animals Britons think they can take on, the order is almost identical to that of Americans. Two thirds of Brits think they could beat up a rat (67%), making it the animal they feel most confident in defeating. This is followed by almost as many who think they can beat a house cat (66%).

These are the only two animals a majority of Britons believe they can beat. People are, however, more likely than not to think they could vanquish a goose (45% say they could, 35% say they couldn’t). Britons are also split on their prospects of putting down a medium-sized dog (38% think they’d win, 41% think they’d lose).

For all other animals the majority expect that they would lose. Britons are least likely to say they would defeat grizzly bears, elephants, lions and gorillas in a fight, at just 2%.

Men are more likely than women to think they can win animal fights…

As with the US results, British women are less confident in combatting all forms of furry foe than British men are – although this distinction vanishes to almost nothing for the very scariest of beasts.

Just as in the US, British men are most likely to think they can beat geese (58%) and medium-sized dogs (54%) when compared to British women (32% and 23% respectively).

…while Americans are more likely than Britons to rate their beast-beating skills

The results also show that, across the board, Britons are less likely to think they can triumph in animal combat than our American cousins.

This difference is most marked when it comes to geese: Americans are substantially more likely to think they could have a goose (61%) than Britons (45%). Americans are also notably more confident in doing battle with medium-sized dogs (49% vs 38%) and eagles (30% vs 18%).

Britons of both genders tend to be less sure of themselves in zoological battle relative to their American counterparts.

This is particularly true when it comes to British women at the less scary range. For instance, while British men are about equally as likely as American men to feel they can beat a rat (76-77%) or a house cat (74-75%), British women are substantially less likely to say so compared to American women (57% vs 68% for the rat, and 58% vs 64% for the cat).

See the full results here

Photos: Getty, Devon Gilson-Pitts/Facebook, 20th Century Fox, ViralHog