I have lived in Australia for 4 years now. It’s amazing I have survived this long. As a Canadian citizen, I am not used to having to fear the ocean, or check my shoes for deadly spiders. But in Australia, if it moves, it’s probably venomous. I mean, it is the only country in the world which even has venomous mammals (the platypus). People tease me when I refuse to enter the ocean in Australia, but after you read this list of some of these things that want to kill you, you will probably understand why.
So without further adieu, here is my list of the top 10 obscure animals from Australia, that are total jerks and want to kill you.
The Blue Ringed Octopus
I first learned about this creature during a biology lesson. I had never heard of it, so I looked it up on wikipedia. I should have known then to avoid Australia. According to the Australian Geographic website, “The blue-ringed octopus has blue blood, three hearts and enough poison to kill 26 humans.” Like seriously, why do you need enough poison to kill 26 humans? Isn’t one enough? Don’t be selfish.
The like to hang out in shallow rock pools and are normally docile, but will bite you if you step on it. And guess what… you know who likes to walk around in rock pools? Kids do. And kids are the usual victims. The one plus? Well apparently the bite is painless, so you wont know you are a victim until well, you can’t breathe anymore.
The Stone Fish
With a face only a mother could love, the stone fish is a another creature hiding in shallow rock pools, in case you still feel like going wading after reading about the Blue Ringed Octopus. It camouflages itself like a rock and it does a pretty good job of it. You will probably only notice the Stone Fish when you step on it and it pierces you will one or more of it’s highly venomous spikes. Wearing shoes? Too bad. The spikes can even pierce rubber shoes to get at your soft little foot within. The pain from the stone fish sting is usually what kills. Apparently the pain is so intense that it causes a person to go into shock and die.
The Monitor Lizard
Commonly known as the Goanna in Australia, this lizard was only recently discovered to be poisonous. Previously, people thought that the bites were so prone to infection because of the bacteria in the lizards saliva. Obviously, from that last sentence, it is clear that these lizards are not that poisonous. I’m putting them on the list because they are so common in urban areas in parts of Australia, there there is a very real possibility that you will be bitten if you do something stupid like try to pick one up.
I got my wedding photos done in Roma Street Parklands in central Brisbane. There are so many Goannas in that park that trying to NOT step on one can be a challenge sometimes. There was also a very real moment when a Goanna started running at me and I was certain it was going to try to live in the massive flowing skirts of my wedding dress.
The Funnel Web Spider
Ugh. I hate this spider. I recently was in my apartment, just me and Jacob for the weekend when I encountered a very large black spider and thick black legs. I have seen the harmless Huntsman spider before. This was not a harmless Huntsman spider. The spider promptly disappeared while I was busy screaming and getting spider spray and is probably watching me as I type this right now. (How does something that large just disappear!?!!?) After looking at WAY TOO MANY pictures of spiders on the internet, I determined that the spider in my house was a Funnel Web. (Which is unlikely as we live in Melbourne and these spiders live in Sydney but OMG it looked so similar and …. yuck… what a gross spider!)
I will not be posting a photo of this spider because YUCK, but if you want to see one, just follow this link. This spider is such a big jerk too. Not only is it the most deadly spider in the world, and it’s fangs are so powerful that it can even pierce through nails and toe nails. Oh and its super aggressive. Oh and it likes to hide in SHOES! It’s venom attacks the human nervous system and alters the functioning of human organs because WHY!?!
The Cassowary is the only bird on this list, and although it has only actually killed a handful of people, it still makes the list just for being a bad ass.
Just look at it.
You know how most scientists think that dinosaurs were actually featured beasts. Well they probably came to that conclusion after they looked at a Cassoway and released that Velociraptors did not go extinct, they just all moved to tropical north Queensland.
Cassowaries can grow to over six and a half feet tall, are extremely territorial and aggressive when they have young with them, and are characterized by the three extremely sharp claws on their feet. The middle claw can be up to 12 centimetres long. That’s long enough to slice open any artery it feels like. Cassowaries have been known to attack humans and there are over 200 recorded attacks. That’s more than 200 people who have been chased, charged, kicked, pushed, pecked, jumped on, and head-butted by a freaking Velociraptor.
Do you ever like to take quiet strolls along the beach, digging your toes into the sand and picking up pretty shells to admire? WHAT? Do you have a death wish or something? Cause apparently in Australia, even the shells want to kill you. The Cone Shell has a little dagger tail, and it’s poison is 1000 times stronger than morphine.
Bull ants are not universally deadly. Their bites are only fatal if you happen to be allergic to ant venom, which apparently a lot of people are. But Bull ants still make the list due to their high level of douche baggary. These ants are extremely aggressive and are often found in places frequented by humans, making human – ant encounters very common. If you happen to meet a Bull ant it will likely clamp onto your flesh with its giant pinchers, and then repeatedly sting you with its smaller stingers. Like a friendly Bull ant handshake.
Common Death Adder
It’s name is sort of the first giveaway. We all know that snakes in Australia generally suck. But I wanted to include this one on the list because it sucks in a really special way. You know how most people will tell you that you are really unlikely to come across a snake when walking in the bush? Cause you know, the snakes are really sensitive to vibrations on the ground and they will be long gone before we even get near to them? Well that might be true for most snakes, but not the common death adder. This snake actually prefers to curl up and wait when it senses danger. You could say this snake said f you to the flight reflex and now only has the fight option. Oh and did I mention it likes to hide, motionless, in leaf litter. The venom contains a type of neurotoxin which causes loss of motor and sensory function, including respiration, resulting in paralysis and death. Awesome.
Swimming in Australian waters is just generally a bad idea. Most things there want to harm you. If you thought all the other water dwelling creatures on this list were terrifying, well wait until you meet the Itukangji. Not only is a sting from an Irukandji jellyfish going to cause fatal brain haemorrhages, but the damn thing is also invisible. Yup that’s right, an invisible creature that sucks so hard it causes fatal brain haemorrhages. Only in Australia…. am I right?
Now I bet you are sitting there saying “Ok, Ok you have convinced me. I wont swim in the oceans surrounding Australia. But lakes are totally cool right?” WRONG. What would you say if I told you that there exists a shark that likes to swim in both fresh and salt water? And that it is one of the most aggressive sharks in the world? Oh and they really like dirty and murky water, and they can attack from even very shallow water. So yeah. Enjoy that lake side Australian holiday.