Australian Dangerous Animals

Australia is well known for its dangerous animals.

You’ve probably already heard that the friendly and inviting Australia can be a dangerous place with its deadly sharks and crocodiles, dangerous snakes, spiders, and jellyfish.

And yes it’s right, all these animals live here and can be life threatening. But 20 million people live happily in this country so there is no reason to panic.

Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus), Kakadu National Park, Australia
Saltwater Crocodile. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Dangerous Animals on the Land
There are not so many dangerous land animals, but the most infamous ones are our snakes and spiders.

Australian Venomous Snakes
It is true that we have some of the world’s most venomous snakes, like taipan snakes, death adders, and king brown snakes, to name a few. But the good news is that the most venomous Australian snakes are not agressive. They don't normally come to bite you unless you step on them or corner and threaten them. Make enough noise when you walk in the bush and they'll get out of your way. Wear proper boots and long pants, and watch your steps so you don't step on one.

Close-Up of a Western Taipan (Oxyuranus Scutellatus)
Taipan. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

The World's Deadliest Spiders
Australia also has the reputation to have the world's deadliest spiders. The truth, however, is that no spider deaths have occured in Australia during the past 30-40 years, since the last antivenoms became available. Sydney Funnel Web, Redback and White Tailed Spider are the most infamous ones, and while they do make you sick, they are not anymore really deadly because the antivenom will save you. You still have to get to the hospital to get the antivenom, so if you are somewhere remote you still have to take care. It's best to take care anyway, by not sticking your fingers into dark corners, and avoiding funnel-looking and three dimensional nets.

A Night Orb-Weaving Spider (Eriophora Biapicata) on White Background
A harmless spider. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Mosquito Deseases: Dengue Fever and Ross River Fever
Another thing that can be dangerous is getting one of the mosquito-borne diseases. We don't have malaria. Ross River Fever is annoying but not life threatening. Dengue Fever, however, can develop to life threatening conditions with a bit of bad luck. Dengue fever is only found in Queensland, particularly north Queensland, and it comes in outbreaks.

Dangers in the Water

While there weren't so many dangerous land animals, there are plenty in the water! The ocean is a much more dangerous environment in Australia than the land.

Dangerous Animals: Australian Sharks
If you look at the statistics of animal deaths in Australia, sharks are the most deadly animals in Australia. There are many species of them, but only three Australian sharks are dangerous to humans. The most infamous is the Great White, also called White Pointer, and the other two are Bull Shark and Tiger Shark. The only way to avoid them is not to go to the deep water, so divers and surfers take a risk, and every now and then, most often in southern parts of Australia, one of them is taken.

Great White Shark, Swimming, South Australia
Great White Shark. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Dangerous Animals: Australian Crocodiles
Crocodiles are probably the second most deadly animals. There are two species of them in Australia, but only the larger, the Saltwater Crocodile is able and willing to kill a human for food. They are incredibly quick and strong, and once they grab you and get a good hold on you, your chances are very slim unless you have help from other people. They are found in northern Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. What you can do is to be careful around creeks and rivers as well as the ocean water. Simply don't go close to it, even if you cannot see a crocodile. The dangerous crocodiles are the ones you cannot see!

Saltwater Crocodile Farm, Queensland, Australia
Saltwater Crocodile. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Dangerous Animals: Different Types of Jellyfish
There are many different species and types of jellyfish in Australia. The only two that can kill you are Box Jellyfish and Irukandji. Box Jellyfish has been described as the most poisonous animal in the world with the most painful sting that the victims have ever experienced, while the sting of Irukandji can apparently even go unnoticed.

Both can kill a human, and both are found in northern Australian waters during the summer months (Wet Season). There are stinger nets on the beaches during those months, but as they don't protect you 100%, it's actually smartest to not even go into the ocean water. If you get stung, pour vinegar on the wounds and ring the ambulance.

Box Jellyfish or Sea Wasp, Poisonous, Australia
Box Jellyfish. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Other Dangers on Australian Beaches
And there are more dangrous things on Australian beaches. Sun exposure itself is dangerous in Australia as it causes skin cancer much easier than the sun in the Northern Hemisphere (because of the strentgth of the sun as well as the fact that we have a thinner ozone layer). In the water there can be rip currents, so make sure you swim between the flags where life savers have an eye on you. And on top of that, we have a myriad of small stingy, poisonous or otherwise nasty water creatures that I haven't mentioned yet: cone shells, stone fish, fire fish, stingrays, marine snakes and blue ringed octopus only to name a few. You know what I mean by saying that the ocean is the dangerous environment in Australia, not the land.

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