There’s a lot of talk about how dangerous all the animals are in Australia. The truth, well, the truth is even worse. It’s amazing just how deadly the creatures of Australia really are. In the deadly Olympics, they get all the gold medals, every time. It really needs to be seen to be believed.
So, we’ve put together a list of the absolute most dangerous animals there. Are there snakes on it? Haha, oh yes, there are snakes. Are there spiders? Come on – of course there are spiders. But it may be the other animals, the ones that you would never expect, that are ultimately the most dangerous of all…
1. Box Jellyfish
When jellyfish sting in Australia, it doesn’t just hurt – it literally kills you. The Box Jellyfish, with species found along many coasts in the South Pacific is particularly famous for its incredibly potent venom that either kills people by spiking blood pressure, or makes them wish they were dead. That’s right, living victims often prefer dying to experiencing the incredible pain. They sometimes get their wish, too, as the human body has been known to go into shock and die even after surviving the initial sting.
2. Inland Taipan Snake
Oh yes, this is the first snake on the list, but please don’t expect to be the last by a long shot. This large snake is an expert at camouflage, looking terrifying, and venom. It’s so venomous that tests have reported that it’s the most toxic snake venom ever found on earth. The only good news here is that the Taipan prefers to live in the hot Australian desert and rarely encounters humans. You know, so far.
3. Funnel Web Spider
There are many different types of funnel web spiders in Australia, and all of them are horrible. The spider is small, hard to see in its natural forest habitat, and its venom can quickly spread through the human body, causing death. Interestingly, male spiders tend to be far more dangerous in this regard. The danger made funnel web spiders one of the most notorious animals in Australia for centuries. Finally, in the early 1980s, antivenom was made for the spider’s bit and no one has died since.
“What, the bouncy little kangaroo? What is he doing on this list?” you may be saying – if you aren’t Australian. But kangaroos aren’t that little, are rarely afraid of humans, and have no problem being vicious. Their powerful punches and kicks can do serious damage to a human, and they have been known to stalk or wait for people before attacking. Of course, it makes sense after a little thought – they have to be mean enough to survive everything else in Australia.
5. Saltwater Crocodile
If you don’t like crocodiles, we’ve got some bad news. There are a lot of them along the northern coast of Australia, and they don’t like you. We mean that literally. They are the most likely species of crocodile to hunt humans for food, because when you are that huge and mean, you really don’t care how much hair your next mammal meal has.
6. Giant Centipede
Please don’t scream, because then we’ll start screaming again, and no one will ever be able to stop. Okay. Feeling better? This is a giant centipede. It does a lot of the same stuff as the tiny centipedes, except its mandibles are strong enough to create a very painful bite, and it can inject a highly complex and dangerous venom that’s designed to kill pretty much anything. Human deaths are very rare, but apparently the pain is hideous. The nightmares aren’t great either.
7. Blue-Ringed Octopus
This amazingly beautiful octopus is hiding a secret: It’s one of the deadliest creatures in the sea, and it’s not uncommon for at least one person in Australia to die per year due to their tetrodotoxin venom. The problem is that the octopus looks so cute and has such a tiny bite that people rarely notice what happened…until about five minutes later, when their bodies start seizing up and their lungs no longer work.
8. Coastal Taipan Snake
Remember when we said the great thing about the Inland Taipan is that humans rarely encounter it? Well, we’ve got some bad news: There’s another type of ultra-venomous Taipan, and it lives on the coast where humans are much more common – which is why this snake is consider the most dangerous in all of Australia. Congratulations, Coastal Taipan: There was a lot of competition.
9. Cone Snail
These snails look like, well, very pretty shells. Unfortunately, the snails have venom (everything in Australia has venom) that can kill an adult human. Actually, more than 30 people have been known to die from their bites. Basically, if you see something pretty in Australia, never ever think about touching it.
10. Eastern Brown Snake
Remember when we talked about the Taipans and how they were the most venomous snakes ever discovered? Well, this little fellow ranks number two on the list. What’s annoying is that there are plenty of brown snakes species on other continents that aren’t venomous at all. But these innocent looking snakes (which aren’t just on the east side of Australia) can easily kill you, because Australia.
11. Reef Stonefish
The Reef Stonefish is known as the most venomous fish in the world, but all of his friends are deadly too so he probably doesn’t get lonely: This bumpy, ogre-like fish is very hard to see when in a reef, and divers do indeed accidentally step on them or pick them up, thinking they are a stone. They’re not, but they are covered in 13 venomous spines that can pierce shoes, cause massive pain, shock, and lead to either death or permanent nerve damage.
12. Bull Shark
No, the Bull Shark isn’t venomous, but it is thought of as the most dangerous shark in the world, so it fits well on this list. The issue at hand is that Bull Sharks like to hang out in shallow waters (where Australian humans gather), and they really don’t like being disturbed. If they think there’s a problem, they will instantly attack, and the results can be gory.
13. Irukandji Jellyfish
Look at that little guy! You wouldn’t even notice him floating in the water. Which is the problem, because this jellyfish is somehow even more painful than the Box Jellyfish from earlier on our list, and its venom can cause severe cramping, vomiting, headaches, burning sensations, and generally a desperate wish that the venom would get it over with and just let you die. The symptoms tend to hit some time after being stung, and can last from hours to weeks.
What’s the deadliest animal in Australia? If you can’t bring yourself to say “honeybee” even after the obvious title and picture, we’re not surprised. But honeybees are responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other animal, including spiders. That’s mostly because they are common, and there are always a certain number of people who are deathly allergic to them. Fun facts!
15. Common Death Adder
Just look at this guy – he doesn’t need to tell you he’s evil. But somehow it wasn’t enough, so people went and called him the Common Death Adder. Its specialty is camouflage, its other specialty is dropping out of trees onto your head, and its other, other specialty is powerful venom that can kill humans. Oh, and it’s also an excellent swimmer. Maybe the name makes sense now.
16. Common Lionfish
Yes, it’s pretty, but you know how this story ends: The Lionfish, much like the stonefish, it has spines that it uses to inject neurotoxins. Death is not common, but can occur – however, you’re guaranteed immense pain, nausea, fever, convulsions, heartburn, diarrhea, and basically everything that can go wrong with your body.
17. Blue Bottle Man O’War
The Man O’War is a weird, weird colony creature that’s infamous for its super-long tendrils. They occasionally lurk or wash up on Australian beaches, and can quickly sting you. The danger is wandering into a bunch of tentacles without releasing and becoming trapped in a nest of stings. Well, there are other dangers like horrible joint pain and respiratory problems, but at least they don’t end in death.
18. Mulga Snake
Also known as the King Brown, this snake is found throughout Australia. Its venom isn’t very dangerous (yay!), but it injects so much of it with every bite that it can still kill people (boo). You know, along with pretty things, stay far away from anything in Australia that’s colored brown. No problem, right?
19. Tiger Snake
These admittedly striking snakes are infamous for their bad tempers, and they will bite at the least provocation. Their venom is a potent neurotoxin, which – repeat after us – can quickly kill people.
20. Tiger Shark
For not having any tigers, Australia sure has a lot of stuff with Tiger in the name – like this Tiger Shark. Tiger Sharks can grow very large and have menacing rows of teeth, but they aren’t much interested in humans. The problem is that they stick close to the shore, so humans tend to run into them frequently – and the results aren’t pretty.
21. Smooth Toadfish
We know, you can’t see any fangs or spines, but you can’t keep a good Australian down. The Smooth Toadfish, a type of pufferfish, is very dangerous to eat, which is a big problem because it is frequently caught by fishermen and boats that are after other fish species.
22. Highland Copperhead
While most snakes prefer the heat, these Copperheads have no problem chilling out in the colder, rainier regions of Australia. They spend most of their time hiding, which is good news because their bites usually lead to death if not treated.
23. Redback Spider
The resemblance to a Black Widow is no coincidence – but this relative is even more dangerous to humans. A Black Window bite can make you sick but you don’t really need to worry about dying. These spiders, however, love hanging out around humans and without the anitvenom they can definitely kill you.
24. Collett’s Snake
This snake isn’t quite as venomous as many of the other species in Australia, but it can still be deadly on the right conditions. Its cytotoxin venom can cause bad stomach pain and may lead to acute renal failure through fluid loss…because shitting yourself to death is just another day in Australia.
25. Australian Paralysis Tick
Here’s a hint – this little tick didn’t get its name because it stays so still. No, unlike other ticks it injects a neurotoxin into its victims to paralyze them while it feeds, because apparently someone handed around the neurotoxin diagrams at the first Australian Animal Meeting.
26. Bull Ant
These enormous ants are not joking around. They can attack in large groups, jab you with very painful stings repeatedly, and possibly kill you if you are allergic. There are many different species with different behaviors, so it’s hard to predict when you’ll run into one. Have fun!
27. Blue-Bellied Black Snake
This small, dark snake is usually content to hide away and not disturb its neighbors. But when it gets mad, it can deliver a bite that includes a wide variety of toxins, all of them potentially deadly.
28. Great White Shark
While enormous, Great White Sharks aren’t known for being too aggressive…but when they do attack, fatalities often occur. It’s common for a couple people to die each year in Australia due to Great White attacks, especially as the human population has risen.
29. Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake
This aquatic snake typically stays away from humans, but it has a super-toxic venom that can lead to complete paralysis and death. The only good news here is that they can be easy to spot with that bright yellow belly.
30. Dugite Snake
Completing our list of most deadly animals in Australia… for now. The Dugite is an unassuming snake compared to many on our list, and it surely has some competition in the “deadly snake” category. But for all that, this guy, also called the Spotted Brown Snake (although we can’t see any spots), has super-toxic venom that can kill an adult human – particularly people around Perth, where the snake is common. It is also known for eating other snakes, which of course it is, because this is Australia.
When it comes to survival, nothing is more important than access to food and water. You’ve likely never heard of pemmican, but its one of the most nutritious and accessible foods in the wild. Invented by the natives of North America, pemmican was used by scouts as well as early western explorers. These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
People should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and look at how folks 150 years ago did it.