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The 13 Scariest Australian Animals

Australia is a land of deadly creatures that seem to take obscene joy in killing you — and not just Queenslanders hunting down anyone who's brown. No, the entire ecosystem seems specifically designed to kill, what with the horrible desert, deadly animals, annoying insects, and constant worry of drop bear attack. These 13 animals are all perfect examples of why Australia should never have been settled, but rather left as the island hellhole it is, filled with deadly animals and noxious plants.

13. Crocs


Crocodiles are actually pretty freaking scary, just sitting there, floating in the water, pretending to be a log until they can snap down on your delicious limbs, then do a death roll, horribly killing you in a disturbingly painful manner. However, as downright mean as these reptilian bastards can be, they're relatively low on this list because we all know about them. Their territory is usually well sign posted, and people have a pretty good idea of what to look for and to avoid so as to not get viciously mauled. Sure, one or two morons are killed every year, but that’s their own damned fault.

12. Great White Shark


The same goes for the Great White Shark, but even more so. Almost no one gets attacked by sharks, and many that do survive just fine. They’re an easy target because they look freaking evil, and aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, famously mistaking people for seals or whatever. They’re huge, scary, and have way too many teeth. That said, they’re also generally easily avoided just by the vaguest approximation of intelligent behavior.

11. Box Jellyfish


Okay, now we’re into the mean stuff. Box Jellyfish, aka Sea Wasps, are notoriously venomous, rated one of the most venomous creatures on the planet, and are easily capable of killing animals and people get done in by them too. The Jellys also have the unnerving ability to swim much faster than other species, and their sting is excruciatingly painful. Each of their many tentacles have 500,000 harpoon-shaped, toxin coated needles, more than happy to shoot into your limbs. They’re also almost transparent, and if you get stung while in the water, the excruciating pain and possible paralysis can easily lead to you drowning. The tentacles can still sting you, even if they’re detached, or the jellyfish is dead.

10. Kangaroos


Awww...look, it’s a kangaroo! How sweet! *punt* Look at those fucking legs, they’re designed to jump and kick. That thing they do where they go back on their tails, and kick you? That ain’t gentle. The video above is a love tap compared to what they can do if they’re pissed off. You annoy a mother kangaroo, don’t be surprised if she disembowels you with those claws in a kick. Everyone thinks kangaroos are so sweet and fuzzy and delicious. Well, they are, and that’s why they’re on this list, because you don’t expect them to kick your ass.

9. Cassowary


Awww...look at the blue ostrich thingy! How sweet! *claw* Cassowarys are generally shy, but if threatened they will attack you, because they are absolute bastards of animals. You annoy them in the slightest, and they will bring the fury, and try and kill you in the most vicious way possible, going for you with mammoth razor sharp claws. In 1958, this is what an ornithologist had to say about them: "The inner or second of the three toes is fitted with a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease. There are many records of natives being killed by this bird." These days people say the danger of these things is overstated, but I don’t buy that. They’re just biding their time...

8. The Australian Brown Snake


There are actually a ton of brown snakes in Australia, some nine or so species that are part of the family, and all of which are extremely toxic. The most common is the eastern brown snake which grows up to 2m in length, but even the little ones are incredibly venomous. The brown snake is the world’s second most deadly land snake, after the taipan, and it packs an incredibly powerful neurotoxin/coagulant mix. Not only will it happily kill you, but they’re difficult to identify because “brown” doesn’t really begin to cover it. They can be a wide variety of shades of brown, they can be speckled, banded, or have other color flecks. Great, an intensely venomous snake that could look like just about anything. Wonderful.

7. The Sydney Funnel Web Spider


Most sane people enjoy the fact that living in a city inherently protects you from most deadly animals, right? When was the last time you saw a 12 foot long snake in a major metropolitan area? Not so for Sydney, where a 100km radius is the home of the notoriously deadly Sydney funnel web spider. Remember how your mother always used to say of spiders “they’re more afraid of you then you are of them”? Not at all true for these bastards. They’re renowned for their aggression, and will attack on almost no provocation, biting repeatedly until they’ve completely drained their venom supplies. They’re attracted to water, and will often fall into swimming pools, where they can survive up to 24 hours, and will bite you if you pull them out.

6. Red Back Spider


It looks like a Black Widow. That should tell you enough right there. The females are only around 1cm large, but will kill much, much bigger prey, and they are one of the few spider species to practice sexual cannibalism. Yeah, they’re scary. And if they bite you, you’re in for massive swelling, excruciating pain, sweating, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, and even causing seizures and a coma. This excruciating agony can last up to 24 freaking hours. Luckily the males are too small to do much harm, but the females can and will attack you, and it is not a happy event.

5. Brown Huntsman Spider


These guys aren’t actually deadly, when they bite people (which is rare), it just leads to a bit of swelling and pain. Not too bad, right? Except they’re absolutely mammoth. Just reading about them sets my skin acrawl, because they get up to 5-inches across. Not only that, but they don’t spin webs...instead they just sit on a wall and wait. When something edible gets within range, they sprint out, dashing across the surface, and taking it out. So, they’re super-fast, giant spiders. Holy crap, that scares the living hell out of me just thinking about it! I don’t fucking care if they eat cockroaches, they’re still scary as all bejesus!

4. Taipan


“A genus of large, fast, highly venomous Australasian snakes.” Thanks Wikipedia, for succinctly summarizing what’s terrifying about the taipan. And when they say highly venomous, they freaking mean it. The inland taipan is widely considered to have the most toxic venom of any land snake in the world, though some sea snakes are worse. The coastal taipan is the third most venomous. That’s right, this family of Australian bastards are two of three most deadly snakes in the world. Great. Just freaking great. Before there was an antivenom, there was not a single survivor of a taipan bite. The taipans can even grow up to 12 feet long. Yeah, you see why they’re absolutely terrifying now?

3. Blue-Ringed Octopus


It’s still a pretty good rule of thumb, that if an animal is brightly colored and pretty, it probably wants to kill you. Less so for birds, but if it’s on land or sea, bright colors are a bad idea. Case in point, the insanely gorgeous blue-ringed octopus, aka “the world’s most venomous animal.” And that’s only number three on this list. There is no antivenom to a bite from the blue-ringed octopus, which causes paralysis and and the inability to breath, leading to a heart attack from lack of oxygen. And you’re awake for the whole time. In order to save someone, you need to get them out of the water before brain damage sets in, and then perform artificial respiration for hours, until their body naturally deals with the toxin, and they can breath on their own. Yay, fun, huh? The bites themselves are tiny and painless, and each octopus carries enough venom to kill 26 adults.

2. Stonefish


As a child, I was terrified by stories of stonefish. They’re the most venomous fish in the world, and are expert mimics, able to change their color and shape to look exactly like a rock. So, they sit still in the water, looking like a stone. If you step on them, you’re dead. Not only that, but the fish can survive outside of the water for 24 hours, and can still sting you then. If you do get hit by one of their spines, you’ll suffer extreme pain, swelling, and possible paralysis. I’m just terrified by how easy it would be to accidentally get stung by one of these.

1. Irukandji Jellyfish


For a similar reason I find the Irukandji jellyfish the scariest thing in all of Australia — because you don’t know it’s there. It’s only a cubic centimeter in size, but incredibly deadly. The jellyfish itself is very delicate, requiring special handling to even capture, but if you accidentally brush against one of their invisibly thin tendrils (which span up to a meter), you’re in for a very, very bad time. You see, one of the defining symptoms of “Irukandji syndrome” is a horrible feeling of doom and impending death, which is appropriate, because there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to die. It also gives you horrible muscle cramps around your body, severe pain through your back and kidneys, burning, nausea, headaches, and vomiting. The funny thing is there’s no direct treatment, and the symptoms can last for weeks. All they can do is get you out of the water, and treat each symptom as it hits you, and wait for your body to get rid of the venom itself.

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