There’s no doubt that Australia is a beautiful country with many appealing qualities, yet in the words of the great Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” Down Under has some of the most deadly fauna on the planet, but don’t worry – some of them just want you in pain instead of six feet under.
21. Saltwater Croc Attack
Snapping pictures is taken very literally Down Under. This Israeli fisherman endeavored to pose for a pic with a 13-foot-long saltwater crocodile. What’s more, the guy bit off more than he could chew when said croc tried to take a chunk out of him.
20. Roger the Kangaroo
Good lord, Australia, what have you created? He might look like a bodybuilder in costume, but this strapping lad is Roger, a 6-foot-tall, nearly 200-pound red kangaroo. He can crush dogs and separate a man from his love muscle without breaking a sweat. Still think ’roos are cuddly?
19. Frilled Shark
Why not go for a swim in those beautiful Oz waters? Oh, yeah – the sharks. Sure, great whites are big, but the “living fossil” frilled shark found in Australian waters has 25 rows of teeth, all 300 of them needle-thin – making for a nightmarish, flesh-shredding mouth. Yikes!
18. Eastern Brown Snake
If you take a stroll to calm your nerves, be careful where you walk. Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous snakes, and the Eastern brown is the second deadliest in the world. Come for the sun; stay for imminent threat of stepping on your doom.
17. Huntsman Spider
If you’re a meter reader in Oz, here’s your excuse to quit. While this mother huntsman spider is mostly harmless to humans, she’ll bite if you try to mess with her spiderlings. Nightmare fuel for anyone with a passing fear of arachnids. Is your back itching yet?
16. Bat-Eating Carpet Python
It looks like a scene from some primordial horror movie, but it’s just another day in Queensland. A couple watched in fascinated horror as this massive 9-foot-long carpet python spent 30 minutes eating a huge bat. They’re lucky it didn’t want dessert.
15. Portuguese Millipede Invasion
After accidentally finding itself shipped to Australia, the invasive black Portuguese millipede decided to stay and reproduce to plague-like proportions. No European hedgehog was there to stop the wriggly arthropods, either. When these creepy-crawlers cross a railroad track together, they can interfere with how quickly a train decelerates – making them the primary suspects in at least one train crash. So on the danger scale, they fit right in.
14. Death Adder
The bad news is that the portentously-named death adder is very well camouflaged, strikes faster than any other snake in the world and can envenom you in less than half a second. The good news is… well, you won’t die for six hours. That counts, right?
13. Fighting Kangaroos
Only Australia has tailed street brawlers who can disembowel you with their feet. The ringside seats are free, too, since they’re probably in your backyard. But unless you want a red kangaroo to kick your spleen through your back, just leave them to it.
12. Plague Soldier Beetle Swarm
Here’s another plague for the Aussies. The plague soldier beetle isn’t really a threat, but in those numbers? Can you imagine being caught in the middle of that? Those bugs would get everywhere… and we mean everywhere. Brr.
11. Wallaby-Eating Olive Python
You call that a snake? This is a snake! The only thing worse than an olive python big enough to eat a wallaby is one strong enough to lift it out of a watering hole first. It’s the second largest snake in Australia; we’ll skip meeting the first, thank you.
10. Sydney Funnel-Web Spider
If you want further proof that Australia’s a death trap, here’s the Sydney funnel-web spider – an arachnid with fangs so strong that they can pierce toenails. Ouch. Oh, and the venom of these eight-legged critters is only highly dangerous to humans and primates, so they’re especially equipped to kill us.
9. Flying Fox Bat
The flying fox may not want to hurt you, but given that it’s the biggest bat in the world, you probably don’t want it on your face, either. So large it’s classified as a megabat, this winged furball is just waiting to get tangled in the hair of anyone who fears bats. Well done, Australia!
8. Redback Spider
You might want to check under the toilet seat before you sit on the throne in Oz. What for? This species of widow spider, that’s what. Australia’s iconic redback spider loves to share your living space, clothes and your children’s toys. Nope, there’s nothing creepy about that at all.
7. Croc-Eating Olive Python
Breakfast in Queensland includes a crocodile sandwich – and make it snappy! Tiffany Corlis and other visitors to Lake Moondarra witnessed this olive python drag its morning meal ashore. And after several hours of fighting with the 3-foot croc, the 10-foot snake only took about 15 minutes to swallow its hapless victim whole.
6. Paralysis Tick
If the spiders, snakes and other larger dangers don’t get you – the ticks might. Aussie ticks don’t just bite, though. Oh, no. If you’re unfortunate enough to have a tick allergy to these blood-suckers, they can endanger your life. The neurotoxin from the parasites’ saliva, if not medically treated after pulling off an engorged tick, can lead to respiratory paralysis.
5. Lizard-Eating Snake
No, it’s not an angry sock; it’s a snake so intent on eating a lizard that its face has disappeared. The Imgur user who took this photo said, “I live in Australia. This has confirmed my feelings that I live in the wrong country – these photos were taken over five hours.”
4. Bird-Eating Golden Orb Weaver
There’s something massively wrong with Australia’s food chain. Even wildlife experts were surprised by pictures of a golden orb weaver spider – which can grow as big as a man’s hand – catching a bird for dinner.
3. Irukandji Jellyfish
Australia doesn’t have enough invisible horrors for your nightmares, so here’s another – the Irukandji jellyfish. Given that this critter is a mere cubic centimeter in size, you won’t see it coming, and it baffles experts with its ability to fire a sting that morphine can’t even touch. Come on in, the water’s fine.
2. Box Jellyfish
Actually, no, it gets worse. The sting from a box jellyfish won’t hurt as much as one from an Irukandji jellyfish. Why? Because you’ll be dead. So if you visit the beach and no one is in the water, take a hint: it could be that it’s box jellyfish season.
1. Blue-Ringed Octopus
Oh, what fresh hell is this? For some inexplicable reason the blue-ringed octopus has a cocktail of venom strong enough to kill 26 humans in a matter of minutes, and there’s no cure. The best you can hope for is to be kept alive via artificial respiration until the venom wears off.