Beware of the Box Jellyfish
The box jellyfish can be found floating around the Great Barrier Reef but despite the area’s beauty, the jellyfish is far from tame. The box jellyfish’s powerful venom contains around 500,000 explosive cnidocytes that can instantly kill prey.
Although it would be assumed that the huge snake could devour anything in similar size to itself, the snake has rather large ambitions and has been known to take on the largest of animals. Pythons have been spotted using its incredible strength to pull wallabies out of the water to feed on them. In this particular mission, the snake tried for almost an hour to eat the wallaby from the waters blow but it was not strong enough on this day and abandoned the task.
Watch Your Back
In some cases, bigger does not always mean more powerful. We have previously seen the strength and venom of the blue-ringed octopus which could kill a man instantly, but this octopus which decided to attach itself to a local swimmers’ back did not seem nearly as dangerous. The initial shock of having the sea creature attach to his back would have been disturbing, but this octopus actually doesn’t prove as grave a danger than its smaller family members.
Blue Ring Octopus
The blue-ringed octopus may only be the size of a golf ball, but its poison is powerful enough to kill a human in minutes. While it usually has blue and black rings with yellowish skin, when the octopus becomes agitated or feels threatened, brown patches on the skin dramatically darken and 50 to 60 dark blue rings appear and start flashing on the surface of the octopus. There is no antidote for humans if stung by the fatal creature.
The stonefish may just blend in with rocks and the coral reef, but it is actually very deadly. The stonefish is one of the most venomous fish known and have potent neurotoxins secreted from glands at the base of their needle-like dorsal fin spines which stand up straight when the fish feels threatened or disturbed. If a human was to step on a stonefish, the effects are potentially lethal, but it has been known that heat and hot water application can destroy the venom.
Great White Shark, Great Danger
Australia is commonly known for being home to the most dangerous sharks in the world, the bull shark, the tiger shark and the infamous great white shark. All three of these sharks are known to attack humans if unprovoked, leading to many shark attacks happening in the oceans and the shallows around some of Australia’s most famous beaches. Surfers are increasingly prone to shark attacks as they go far out at sea and when laying on their boards, look like turtles to the sharks.
The Tiger Shark
Second to the great white, the tiger shark is a solitary, mostly nocturnal hunter and has the widest of food spectrums of all of the sharks. Further to this, the tiger shark is most commonly found dwelling along shallow reefs, harbors and canals giving them the most access to human activities in the water. Despite the majority of tiger shark attacks not being fatal, it is still a highly feared shark for its strong bite and power.
Even though they are less commonly known, people should fear the bull sharks much more than they do. Bull sharks can thrive in both salt and fresh water meaning they can travel far up rivers. Furthermore, they swim around warm, shallow waters which are desirable to humans, making them prone to attacking and coming increasingly close to their prey. An average female bull shark will grow to around eight feet long and will weigh more than 290 pounds.
Crazy Coconut Crabs
These crabs are not your average pinchers you find in the ocean. It is the largest land-living athropod in the world. They are huge and grow to the size of a big dog and their size also reflects their power. When a human is pinched by one of these alien-like creatures, they will be in excruciating pain from the intensity and longevity of their harsh grip. They will feed on anything left on the ground as a potential food source, lending them the name ‘Robber crabs.’
The Tasmanian Devil
The tasmanian devil appears in cartoons as something completely different to what it actually looks like in reality. The small animal may considered the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world but they are actually very scared of humans. When a human comes near the small animal they will either shake nervously or stand completely still. However, the small animal has also been known to eat the bodies of murder victims who have been left in the wild.
Marble Cone Snail
Also known as the conus marmoreus, the marble cone snail is a species of predatory sea snail. Although snails are usually harmless, this sea snail is extremely venomous to the point that only one drop of its venom can kill 20 humans! There is no antidote for the venom either, so humans should steer clear of the deadly creature. The size of an adult snail can vary between 30mm an 150mm with a distinctive black color with white dots.
The saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile in the world as well as the largest riparian predator in the world. Males can reach up to at least 20 feet however, females are much smaller and rarely exceeds sizes of six meters. These crocodiles mainly reside in swamps, estuaries, deltas, lagoons and lower stretches of rivers. Its strength and power has led it to dominating over the majority of other animals including humans. The crocodiles’ prey are ambushed and drowned or swallowed whole.
Soldier beetles are among the masses of insects they have in Australia. They got their name as the species has a color pattern reminiscent of the red coats of early British soldiers. The insects themselves are relatively soft-bodied, straight-sided beetles and are cosmopolitan in their distribution. Soldier beetles are actually very useful in yards as they help get rid of other pests and can rival bees when it comes to pollinating flower beds and plants.
The Sydney Funnel Web Spider
The venomous spider got its name as it is usually found within an 100 kilometer radius of Sydney, Australia. It is part of the Australian funnel-web spider family and its bite is lethal, despite being only two inches long. If a human is bitten by the spider, it can cause serious injury and death in some cases if it is left untreated. The spider becomes defensive when attacking and causes them to strike multiple times when they bite.
The highly venomous spider is indigenous to Australia and is within the family of the widow spiders. It is responsible for the most human interactions and incidents which have required people to seek medical help for anti venoms. Between 1,000 to 2,000 people in Australia are bit by the redback’s two strong fangs every year. The spiders are nocturnal and they live in webs in a warm, sheltered location, near or inside human residences which is why so many people have been attacked by them.
As we have seen, other regular animals in Australia seem to have been super-sized and this is no exception with the earth worm. Australia is home to the giant Gippsland earthworm and is just one of Australia’s 1,000 native earthworm species. These giant earthworms average one meter and can reach up to three meters in length! Due to the European colonization of the country, the earthworms have declined and they are now a protected species.
The Cassowary Bird
The cassowary bird looks similar to an ostrich in appearance but is slightly smaller and their feet have sharp, dagger like claws. The bird cannot fly but it can prove to be quite a large threat from the ground. The birds have been known to aggressively kick humans and animals if they have been provoked. Although there is nothing intentionally deadly from the kicking, the force of the bird can cause fatal injuries. The Cassowary birds are omnivorous.
Huge Hail Storms
Although it is not a dangerous animal, this next risk can prove to be quite deadly. In regular Australian storms, they have been known to have hail the size of golf balls! When these large blocks of ice fall from the sky the drop and the power of them can be fatal if they were to land on a person. Everyone should be under strict commands to stay inside when these bad boys fall out of the sky!
The Australian giant centipede is the largest Australian and Asian centipede. Their bodies are exceptionally long and flattened and have a green-brown to orange-yellow coloration. This centipede has modified claws called forcipules which allow the insect to curve around its head and deliver venom into its prey. The venom it produces is toxic to both mammals and insects but cannot kill large animals quickly enough. In humans, it can cause severe pain which can last several days.
The blob fish is a deep sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae and can be found in the deep waters off the coats of mainland Australia. The blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water which allows the fish to float above the sea without having to take the time to use energy and swim. The lack of muscle in the fish is not a disadvantage as it is able to swallow edible matter that floats in front of it.
The frilled-neck lizard, also known as the Chlamydosaurus is a special species of lizard found in northern Australia. The lizard’s neck folds against its body in most cases, but when it gets agitated or on attack mode, the neck spreads out its frill, displaying bright orange and red scales. Although it has razor sharp teeth, the animal mainly feeds on insects and small vertebrates, meaning it is not harmful to humans if it is unprovoked.
This species of giant slugs are rich in a pink-red color and resembles a spicy red pepper. Also known as the Triboniophorus graeffei, the air-breathing land slugs grow up to 15 centimeters and are found in eastern Australia. The slugs are found in habitats including city gardens, forests, woodlands and heaths. They are also commonly found at the summit of Mount Kaputar, an active volcano, 300 miles northwest of Sydney. The slugs are known to be able to survive in the volcanic rock and soil.
Snakes Are Everywhere
Although we have previously mentioned a couple of the large snakes in Australia and their power, it is important to note that they are not an uncommon sight. This picture might look like something out of the movie of ‘Snakes On A Plane’ but it is actually a genuine picture of a couple of snakes hanging out on the wing of a Qantas plane. This happens from snakes roaming freely on the warm tarmac in Australian airports and then climbing on top of the wings.
Australia might be home to some super scary animals but it is also home to some adorable ones. They are an Australian breed of dog which absolutely love to sleep. The breed seems to be related to Border Collies which are also known for herding sheep. You can often find these dogs sleeping on a sheep’s wool, taking a nap. These dogs have also been known to excel in dog sports including dog agility and frisbee.
Blue Sea Slug
The blue sea slug is a species of slug called pelagic, meaning they float upside down, using the surface tension of the water to stay afloat, they are carried along by the winds and ocean currents. The blue colors of their appearance allowed them to stay camouflaged in the ocean, blending in with the blue waters while their silver side stays downwards and blends into the rocks. This sea slug protects itself against predation through a stinging sensation.
The cane toad is an old species which has poisonous glands. The toad not only protects itself from its toxic skin, but it also protects its offspring by creating tadpoles which are highly toxic to any animals which try to eat them. The toad feeds of different types of dead and living matter which has led them to being used as agricultural pest control. The voracious appetite of the toad means it will eat most beings which it comes into contact with.
The brolga bird is a member of the crane birds family and was given the name the Australian Crane. The wetland bird is a species of tropical and south-eastern Australia and New Guinea. It has a small head, super long legs and a long beak, useful for picking fish out of lakes and rivers. Although the bird is not considered as endangered, the brolga populations are dying down, prompting some local action plans from environmentalists.
The Australian Magpie might look quite harmless and generic, but these medium-sized birds can cause quite the ruckus for Aussies. The species is commonly fed by households around the country but in the spring time, a minority of breeding magpies become aggressive and attack those who approach their nests, mostly aiming for the skull. The magpie has become somewhat of an Australian symbol for sports teams, trying to show their ferocity and fearful nature.
Deep Sea Angler Fish
The deep sea angler fish is known as one of the bizarre looking fish in the sea. There are around 200 species of anglerfish in the oceans around the world. The fish has a light dangling on top of its head which lights up through a chemical process and attracts the angler fish’s prey. It’s body resembles a basketball and has a very large mouth with razor sharp teeth. It’s intimidating appearance has earned it the name “common black devil.”
Although the dragonfly looks quite majestic when it is flying, it is actually an aquatic predator. They are fast, agile fliers and can be found migrating across oceans. The loss of wetlands around the world threatens the species of dragonflies as they are found in habitats near water. In Japan and China they are used for traditional medicine while in Indonesia they are caught for eating. Their distinctive color is striking and they are known as the prettiest of insects, next to ladybugs.
Crabs on Crabs
Although Australia is famous for its kangaroos and crocs, a lot of people are unaware they have an abundance of crabs. The masses of crabs can be found on Christmas Island. At one point, it was estimated that over 45 million crabs once lived there but the accidental introduction of the yellow crazy ant is believed to have killed around 10-15 million in recent years. Still, the millions of crabs on the Island regularly cause locals to drive really slow on the roads.
A dingo is a wild canine commonly found in Australia. The dingo is the largest terrestrial predator in Australia and is seen as a pest to farmers due to attacks on animals however their predation on rabbits, kangaroos and rats may be of benefit to graziers. The dingo is seen as a cultural icon to many Australians. It’s habitat ranges from deserts to grasslands and the outskirts of forests. In recent years, the dingo has been noted as becoming vulnerable to extinction.
Desert Horned Lizard
The desert horned lizard resembles a dragon but has a chameleon type nature. The lizard has colors which blend in with the color of the surrounding soil but their main colors appear to be beige, tan or red with blotches of darker colors. The lizard has pointed scales on the back of the body to protect from attack and other predators. In contrast to other lizards, the desert horned lizard has spikes which are larger at the base and sharper at the top.
Spiders Eat Snakes
We have seen that Australia is home to thousands of deadly spiders and snakes which are equally dangerous in different ways. In most other countries you wouldn’t find many spiders powerful enough to trap a snake its web to feed on, but this gigantic spider managed to do exactly that. Moreover, this is not actually an unusual occurrence and many Aussies are used to seeing this kind of behavior from their crazy wild animals.
Despite Australia being home to some terrifying creepy crawlies and intimidating large, aggressive animals, it also has its fair share of incredible creatures too. Sea turtles can be found hanging around beaches in Ningaloo Marine Park on the west coast of Australia. Six of the seven species of marine turtles are found in Australia and all of them are endangered, with severe threats to their survival. Their habitats on picturesque beaches are big tourist hotspots.
The small, broad-tailed parrot is one of only three species of parrots which migrate. The incredible, vibrant colors of the parrot have made them highly desired, resulting in them becoming threatened as a species. The parrot has a very small population and is on the verge of extinction in the wild, leading it to be named on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered. The wild population is estimated at around 50 while the numbers in captivity are around 300.
Dusky Leaf Monkey
The dusky leaf monkey is a species of primate commonly found in Malaysia, Burma and Thailand. The monkey’s adorable looks, small size and beady eyes has earned it a place on the list of cutest animals in the world. The different subspecies of animals are differentiated by the color of their fur. These monkeys have a particularly docile nature in comparison to other monkeys. They often spend their time relaxing, grooming and searching for food.
Quokkas are found on some of the smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia. The quokka is known to be the ‘world’s happiest animal’ and while they are thought to be close to extinction on the main land, the islands they inhabit are very big on wildlife conservation and animal protection. The quokkas are known for their friendly and approachable nature but the islands seriously discourages humans from feeding the animals due to their vulnerability for getting sick.
The maratus jactatus is one of the members of the Australian jumping spider family. It is known as the ‘sparklemuffin’ by locals as maratus stands for ‘peacock spiders’. The male spiders engage in a courtship display at which time they extend their median and posterior fringed spinnerets. As the spiders are part of the jumping spider family, they can catch some serious air and end up in the strangest of places high up in residential houses.
Pythons vs Flying Foxes
Australia is known for their pythons which use their strength to catch all kinds of prey. One regular battle is between the pythons and flying foxes which essentially look like a modern day pterodactyl dinosaur. Their size and ability to fly is not enough for them to get away from the pythons, which regularly feed on the unique animal. The battle between the two have been known to go on for more than six hours with one always proving inferior to the other.