Tell anyone you’re off to Australia and one of the first things they’ll comment on is how many ways there are for you to be killed by nature Down Under. We’ve all heard of the cute sounding death adder, toilet seat hugging red back spider and, of course, all of those deadly man eating sharks.
The thing about these creatures is is they get a lot of bad press. While every tourist quivers in fear on the beach, convinced jaws is waiting for his all you can eat human buffet, there’s a blue ringed octopus lying in wait and ready to give you a fatal bite.
Guys, you’re being distracted by the big name players when there are some far more dangerous characters out there.
So, here are 3 creatures in Australia that you really don’t need to worry about. Oh, and 3 that you definitely do!
Don’t stress about…
We’ve all see the scaremongering headlines, but hopefully some of you have seen some actual statistics too. On the list of things that actively want to kill you sharks are way down low. Who usually gets bitten by a shark? Surfers. Why? Because they look like a shark’s favourite food. One little bite and Mr Sharky realises the error of his ways and swims on by, that’s why people lose limbs. If a great white really wanted to gobble you up he’d gobble you up. If I dressed up as a steak and sat on your plate I wouldn’t be able to get annoyed at you for sticking a fork in me.
Did you know that Australia has 8 of the 10 most deadly snakes in the world? Probably. But did you also know that only 41 people have died from snake bites since 1980 – many of those because the people tried to kill the snake – and that horses cause 20x times more deaths than snakes? Plus the majority of snake bites are found on people’s hands and feet. Want to know why? The people who get bitten are the people who try to handle them. Leave the poor things be and you’ll be fine.
Okay I’ll admit it, I was guilty of this one. Before I went to Australia I even looked up the cost of hypnotherapy to cure my arachnophobia. But want to know how many spiders I see? Less than when I lived in the UK. Seriously. Plus with the marvel of modern medicine spider bites aren’t particularly dangerous to people anymore. Stop checking under the toilet seat and chill out.
DO keep your eyes peeled for…
Standing the same height as a grown man, these birds are a serious throwback to the dinosaur days. They have a huge, hard bone on their head for fighting and their feet come equipped with an enormous talon capable of slicing you open like a tomato. Imagine someone crossed a velociraptor with a chicken, then really pissed it off. Boom: Cassowary!
Blue ringed octopus
This little cuddly ball of death enjoys sitting, camouflaged on the ocean floor until disturbed. They might only be 6 inches long (nothing wrong with that guys) but they carry enough venom to kill 26 adult humans. Oh, and because their bites are relatively painless quite often people don’t realise they’ve been bitten until paralysis starts to kick in. And there’s no known anti-venom either. Yay!
That’s right, even the plants want to kill you… The leaves of this tree are covered in tiny hairs filled with a neurotoxin. It causes excruciating pain which returns on and off for months on end, sometimes even years. Did I mention there’s almost no way to alleviate the pain? Fun! If you are stung on a large part of your body it can sometimes cause heart attacks, such is the strength of the toxin. Maybe check what leaf you’re grabbing if you get caught short in the jungle without any loo roll…
What do you think – is there anything else we should keep an eye out for…?
[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdihHnaOQsk” ]