Australia is known for its vicious, biting, dangerous wildlife. It has deadly animals that want to bite you if not kill you. When someone lists the top most dangerous creatures in the world, Australia’s top the list.
We visited the Alice Springs Reptile Center so we could get a quick lesson in what to stay away from, what not to do, or what to do, especially if we get bitten, most especially by the King Brown Snake, which is where I’ll begin.
The Brown Snake
The center explained that most people are bitten by the latter, because they either try to kill it or they find themselves standing on it. The snake, though, can be aggressive, meaning he will attack by chasing you until he bites you; and he is the second deadliest snake in the world.
We were told to stand still if one is too close until it slithers away, even if he decides to slither across your shoes. Everything in my being, if not in my raising, told me that this is ill-fated advice at best, totally opposite of the way I was raised. Running like hell is what we Florida kids did instinctively.
The Reptile Center also told us to wear long slacks and no sandals, which was most of my wardrobe. It seems this snake’s fangs are microscopic and probably won’t reach your leg if your slacks aren’t tight. So much for my narrow legged ankle pants in the Outback.
By the way Australia has the first most venomous snake, too. He just didn’t happen to live in an area we visited.
Box Jelly Fish
Another deadly creature is the almost invisible box jelly fish, with his long tentacles and venom that causes a person’s heart to stop. They are so prevalent that people only swim on the north shore in areas with nets for protection.
My Mama would have hated this place, because Australia has over 520 species of spiders, most of which are extremely poisonous, including the world’s most venomous–the funnel web. The latter likes to hang out in your shoes.
The Saltwater Croc
I mentioned the saltwater crocodile earlier. All I can say is that this archaic thing not only can eat you but even looks like he wants to eat you. Our alligators here in Florida look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm next to this unholy looking thing. He looks like an alligator that is demon possessed. Up on the north shore they rule the roost up there with hardly any predators, and they will eat almost anything.
We were told that he responds to vibration, thus the instructions to stay away from the banks of rivers, streams, beaches, mangroves, you name it. One minute you think you are all alone, and the next minute you’re his dinner. Actually he really doesn’t like the taste of you, but you are big enough that he wants you dead.
Other Things that Can Kill
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are also poisonous centipedes, snails, octopi, and fish, to name a few. Even the Outback itself crisscrossed by remote uninhabited hot, dry miles and miles of roads with no service stations, towns, or civilization can be a problem for the unsuspecting. Did I say hot? It gets up to 122 degrees out there in the summer which is in December/January. All kinds of things can happen out there.
The Mighty Cassowary
There is a bird called the Cassowary that goes around kind of mad at the world and will chase you down and beat you up, maybe even kill you if given the chance. Somewhat like ostriches and emus, he grows to six feet tall and can run 31 mph. A cousin to the raptors as seen in Jurassic Park, Cassowaries are smart, can jump five feet, can swim, and will find you. You cannot hide.
The fauna of Australia are truly interesting. Of course, marsupials are not mammals; and before it was inhabited Australia had lots of the former but hardly none of the later. Australia has over 200 species of marsupials native to the continent, a very ancient land, one of the oldest in the world. It has shallow soils, and its marsupials can survive better here than our mammals.
Believe me. This is a strange land down under here. I never encountered any of these varmints, but it wasn’t because I wasn’t looking…all the time.