Dangerous Animals in Australia: Most Exciting Wildlife

Among many other things, Australia is known for its wildlife. Australian wildlife often gets bad press because of human casualties. In most cases, this is down to people’s unawareness of Mother Nature. That’s why before traveling to any place, you should learn about the pros and cons of it.

Australia is home to some of the most dangerous animals on earth. You’ll mostly see news about sharks, crocs, and snakes, but there are so many more that you should know and be cautious about. If you stay in the city, you probably won’t have to encounter these animals.

But for adventure freaks who love facing the unknown, these animals do pose a threat. Travelers often say that everything wants to kill you in Australia. You can decide whether that’s true or not once you have gone through the list.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Australia 

The Australian Museum in Sydney created a list of the most dangerous animals in Australia based on their research. They based it on the likeliness of encountering these animals and the threat they have towards human life.

To justify the standings, they gave the animals a rating out of ten. Let’s find out where you’ll find them or, in this case, how you’ll avoid them. 

Box Jelly Fish

Danger Rating: 10 out of 10. 

Scientific name: Chironex fleckeri

As the rating suggests, this is one of the most dangerous animals in Australia. You’ll find the box jellyfish in northern Australia. The worst part is they appear during the summer season when you want to go for a swim.

The venom it possesses can affect the heart, skin, and nervous system. Getting stung by a jellyfish is a common phenomenon for the Aussies. It gets the name because of the boxlike bell (Another term for the jellyfish’s head). The tentacles are venomous, and they can stretch over 6 feet. 

Box Jellyfishes are either transparent or oceanic blue. You’ll hardly see them coming towards you. They visit the shores during the breeding season. When you get stung, you’ll go through unimaginable pain, and it will hamper your movement and breathing as a result. Get out of the water as fast as possible because a large dose of venom can cause heart attack and even death just under a few minutes. 

And No! Peeing on it won’t do anything. But applying vinegar can lessen the pain.  

Box Jelly Fish
Photo by Zetong Li from Pexels

Honey Bee

Danger Rating: 9 out of 10

Scientific Name: Apis mellifera

How harmful can a bee get, right? Well, when it comes to the honey bee, it can get pretty dangerous. Especially for people who have allergies, a single sting can be life-threatening. For normal people, it causes skin burn and swelling. In some cases, there have been reports of breathing problems.

These bees can only sting you once because they have barbed stings. Unless they feel threatened, they won’t come near you. But if you’re out in the wild, you should keep an eye out for them.

Go to the nearest medical center if you ever get stung.  

Honey Bee
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Irukandji Jellyfish 

Danger rating: 9 out of 10

Scientific name: Carukia barnesi

This is another variant of the jellyfish. They are much smaller in size than the box jellyfish. Although scientists haven’t been able to specify the exact location of their attacks, most stings were reported along the Australian coastline.

The Irukandji can be found in deep waters in contrast to the shallow water box jellyfish. Their bell size is of a human fingernail, and the tentacles are around 3.5 feet in length. You wouldn’t even see what stung you. 

Once you get stung, it takes around 30 minutes for the venom to initiate its work. You’re going to start sweating, get nauseous, and feel the sting burn. Other effects include lower back pain, anxiety, and other severe symptoms. All of these are known as Irukandji syndrome.

Irukandji Jellyfish
Photo by Karla Facio from Pexels

Bull Shark 

Danger Rating: 8 out of 10

Scientific name: Carcharhinus leucas

Were you wondering why there’s no shark on the list? It’s finally here. You’ll come across these sharp predators in estuaries, coastlines, rivers, and harbors. They mostly prefer swimming in shallow waters.

There’s nothing much to say about the bull sharks. One moment you’re riding a wave on your surfboard, and in the very next moment, you hear people screaming. Try to avoid fish carcasses because that’s their main food. Like any other animals in the wild, sharks won’t attack you unless you’re in their territory or they feel threatened. The problem is, no one can’t specify what triggers a shark’s predatory nature against humans.  So, keep an eye out for the infamous fin when you’re going for a swim. 

Bull Shark
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

Eastern Brown Snake

Danger rating: 8 out of 10

Scientific name: Pseudonaja textilis

The brown snake specie can be found all across Australian land. That’s why they have the greatest number of reported human fatalities among all the other snake genus of Australia. The eastern brown snake has a length of 3 feet or more.

These snakes are very agitated. It doesn’t take much for them to jump into action and bite someone. If they manage to penetrate your skin completely with their internal fangs, you are in big trouble. 

Initially, you won’t feel any pain, and the bite is hard to detect. Once the venom starts circulating in your bloodstream, you will start bleeding, and you might even get paralyzed. The good news is, antivenom is widely available. You just need to realize you’ve been bitten and find a medic. That’s’ all.

Eastern Brown Snake
Photo by mark broadhurst from Pexels

Saltwater Crocodile

Danger rating: 8 out of 10

Scientific name: Crocodylus porosus

Saltwater crocs are quite common throughout Southeast Asia. In Australia, you will come across them in estuaries, swaps, and sometimes even in freshwaters. They prey on small to medium-sized animals. From 1975 to 2009, there have been official reports of 24 fatal attacks on humans by the saltwater croc.

The crocs are opportunistic, huge in size, and aggressive. Plus, they are good at camouflage. So, when you see a sign that says, be aware of crocodiles, please take it seriously. And a word of advice, when you go out camping, don’t leave your dog outside. 

Saltwater Crocodile
Source: Pexels / Pixabay

Sydney Funnel Web Spider

Danger rating: 8 out of 10

Scientific name: Atrax robustus

The Sydney web spider has a recorded death count of 14 since 1927. Most of the spider’s population is based in and around Sydney’s north shore suburbs. Only the male spiders are known to be fatal, which is positive news to some extent.

In case any of you were too caught up in fantasies, a quick reminder, there’s no such thing as Spiderman. If a Sydney funnel-web spider bites you, you’ll immediately realize it because of the pain. Other symptoms include muscle spasm, severe headache, sweating, and nausea.

This spider’s venom consists of a special type of neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system, which results in death. So, don’t waste a minute if you feel a bite.  

These spiders stay hidden, and they can be killed using by using UV light. During the day, they prefer staying in dark spots. Make sure you inspect your shoes before putting them on. 

Sydney Funnel Web Spider
Source: Pexels / Pixabay

Blue-Ringed Octopus

Danger rating: 7 out of 10

Scientific name: Genus Hapalochlaena

The list would be incomplete without an octopus in it. There are four different species of this type of octopus. They are found across the Australian coastline. These beautiful blue-spotted creatures are beautiful to look at and fatal if you get too close, not any different than most wild animals.

Normally the octopus is brown colored, but when it feels a touch, the blue rings appear. That’s a sign for you to run. If you fail to escape and get bitten, you’ll start having breathing problems. Your body will shut down slowly, becoming paralyzed because of the neurotoxins in the venom. There is no antivenom available as of now.

Most of the documented reports say, the octopus bit a person when it was picked up using bare hands. So, it’s very simple how you can avoid dying from a blue-ringed octopus. JUST DON’T TOUCH THEM.

Blue-Ringed Octopus
Source: Pixabay

Coastal Taipan

Danger rating: 7 out of 10

Scientific name: Oxyuranus scutellatus

You’ll find two different taipan snakes in Australia. One is the coastal taipan the other is known as the inland taipan. When it comes to the severity of venom, the inland one beats the coastal snake. But documented reports put the coastal taipan above its fellow specie. 

Coastal taipans are aggressive, but they don’t attack unless they feel threatened. They have an average length of 6.4 feet. The taipan’s venom affects the nervous system causing internal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and severe headaches.

Coastal Taipan
Source: commons.wikimedia.org/

Common Death Adder

Danger rating: 7 out of 10

Scientific name: Acanthopis antarticus

The reason why this snake is lower down the list is, its main aim is to protect itself, and it doesn’t have any particular interest in leaving the territory. The snake can easily camouflage inside a bush or a leaf pile because of the brown color, and they are commonly found in Sydney bushland. 

A single bite from the death adder can cause loss of sensory functions, and you might start getting numb slowly.  The respiratory system will start to malfunction, and sometimes it can cause death.

Common Death Adder
Source: Flickr

Final Thoughts

The wildlife is an inseparable part of Australia and its heritage. When you’re planning a trip, you should be prepared to face nature because you never know what might invade your peaceful vacation.


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