It’s not all kangaroos and cute little Koala bears in Australia. Aside from the crocs that most people know about, check out these deadly creatures that call Australia home.
10. Box Jellyfish
One of the deadliest creatures to inhabit the Australian waters is the Box Jellyfish, otherwise known as Sea Wasp. The Box Jellyfish is a bane to anyone who dares swim along the coast of the Great Barrier Reef. It sticks its 80-centimeter long tentacles into its victim’s body and delivers a whopping lethal dose, killing a 150 pounds person in about three minutes. The venom attacks the nervous system, the cellular structure and body organs. This jellyfish kills more people than do all the sharks, snakes and saltwater crocodiles of Australia.
9. Redback Spider
This is a member of the deadly widow family of spiders, as in Black Widow, but the Australian version. The female is easily recognisable by her black body with a prominent red stripe on the upper side of her abdomen. Females have a body length of about a centimetre while the male is smaller, being only 3 to 4 millimetres long. Like its Black cousin, the Redback spider is one of few arachnids which display sexual cannibalism while mating.
8. Coastal Taipan
The coastal Taipan is the largest poisonous snake in Australia and the third largest most poisonous land snake in the world. This snake haunts sugarcane fields in search of rats; its dark brown skin allows it to blend in with the earth, making the perfect camouflage. This snake frequents Queensland in the North and in areas where the weather is mild. The Taipan, as a rule, does not come close to human inhabitations; however, if threatened, this snake will keep striking until it delivers a lethal dose of its toxic venom into the human’s body. If not treated with antivenom immediately, almost 75% of all Taipan bites will be fatal.
7. Irukandji Jellyfish
This deadly 2.5 centimeter long jellyfish is quite hard to spot in the water owing to its tiny size. The venom secreted by this tiny jellyfish is 100 times as potent as that of Cobra venom, and about 1000 times as potent as that of Tarantula venom. Irukandji jellyfish prefer to live in the warmer coastal waters. When this jellyfish attacks, the stingers attach themselves into the victim’s flesh. The sting causes a delayed pain reaction. If sufficient venom is injected, death occurs in minutes. In the last few years, several deaths are attributed every year to the Irukandji jellyfish.
6. Saltwater Crocodile
The Saltwater Croc is the world’s largest reptile, found along Australia’s northern coast and for about 100 kilometers or so inland. The Saltwater Crocodile can be anywhere from 4 to 7 meters long.
It snaps its long jaws around the prey’s body and rolls powerfully, throwing the struggling victim off balance and then drags it underwater. With a powerful crunch of its jaws, the crocodile crushes the bones of the victim’s body. The croc will take nearly any animal that dares to enter its territory, be in on in the water or on dry land.
The Australian Saltwater Crocodile was credited with the death of over 400 Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. However, nowadays, only one or two fatal attacks are reported per year in Australia owing to stringent warning methods and precautions.
5. Blue-Ringed Octopus
The Australian Blue-Ringed Octopus is a deadly poisonous creature that lives in the warm, shallow reefs of Australia. This octopus gets its name from its distinctive blue rings on its tentacles. It paralyzes its victims with venom and uses its beak to tear off pieces, after which it sucks out the flesh. They’re too small to cut a human to pieces. However, they can deliver sufficient venom to paralyze a human and disable respiratory system. Death can occur in a matter of hours or days. Currently, there’s no anti-venom for the blue-ringed octopus’s venom.
4. Australian Stonefish
Another prime example of Australia’s deadly marine creatures is the stonefish that inhabit shallow coastal waters. Brownish in color, the stonefish has no problem camouflaging itself as a rock, which is why it’s named the stonefish. Each one of its thirteen sharp dorsal spines is filled with extremely toxic venom, toxic enough to kill a human in two hours.
Stepping on a stonefish can be fatal, unless care is given immediately. Deaths by stonefish are hard to confirm but current statistics show 4 to 5 deaths a year owing to this fish.
3. Australian Brown Snake
Unanimously accepted as one of Australia’s more deadly creatures, the brown snake’s venom can cause death to humans very quickly if immediate care is not given. These snakes are so venomous that even young snakes are capable of killing a human. This 1.5 meter to 2.3-meter long snake usually feeds on mice, rats, small birds, lizards and even other snakes. Eastern Australia is home to these snakes. Less than two people die of brown snakebites in a year in Australia.
2. Great White Shark
The Great White Shark is a solitary animal and is found on all Australian coasts and in other places throughout the World. Equipped with 2,800 sharp slanted teeth that help them hold their prey in their mouths, they usually attack their prey once and wait for the prey to bleed to death. A number of white shark attacks are reported every year; however, increased awareness and immediate emergency care has ensured that these attacks don’t all translate into deaths.
1. Australian Funnel-Web Spider
These spiders lurk around and penetrate people’s shoes with their fangs that are filled with ample venom glands. They can even penetrate through fingernails, leather coats and clothing. You can find these spiders in Victoria, New South Wales, or Queensland. If first aid and antivenom are not administered, death can occur within an hour.