It’s a well established fact that life in Australia looks pretty fucking terrifying, and that even stepping outside is to stare death in the face.
What we didn’t realise is quite how bad things are over there.
Australia is home to a lot of exotic and dangerous animals many of which are like something straight out of a nightmare.
Even relatively docile kangaroos can be scary, and in the past have been on ‘rampages’.
Even so, we never could have imagined how truly fucked up some of the animals in Australia actually are.
Here are some of the most terrifying ‘monsters’ Australia has produced but, for an even more terrifying experience, click here for a full list of the weird and wonderful wildlife you can find Down Under.
The Irukandji jellyfish
The Irukandji jellyfish may be the most scary thing in all of Australia and for good reason.
The tiny box jellyfish can be found around the coast and they’re very dangerous. That’s because, despite it’s tiny size – it’s around the size of your little fingernail – the Irukandji can still sting you. However, unlike a normal jellyfish sting, its venom does a little bit more than just hurt like hell.
You see, it turns out their sting causes a number of unpleasant side effects including excruciating muscle cramps, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a psychological phenomena called ‘Irukandji syndrome’, which has been described as a horrible feeling of ‘doom and impending death’.
Best of all, there’s no real treatment for the sting, besides hospitalisation, antihistamines and time. Oh, but did we mention symptoms can last for weeks?
Australian Brown Snake
The Australian brown snake, also known as the eastern brown snake, is found all the way along the east coast of Australia.
Despite being extremely common, the snake is the second most venomous snake Down Under and, even better, is notorious for being both fast and aggressive.
Thankfully, the snake usually tries to run when it’s confronted, although if you back it into a corner then you’ll soon find yourself in a whole world of trouble.
The snake’s venom reportedly causes diarrhea, dizziness, convulsions, paralysis and heart attacks. And, unsurprisingly, without medical treatment, these bites can kill.
Blue Ringed Octopus
The blue ringed octopus is an absolutely beautiful creature that can be found living in Australia’s southern ocean. It’s also one of the deadliest animals on the planet.
You see, despite the creature’s small size it carries enough venom to kill 26 adult humans within minutes.
Even better, their bites are tiny and painless, so victims may not even realise they’ve been bitten until the venom kicks in. The creature produces a neurotoxin one thousand times more powerful than cyanide.
The effects of being bitten are the usual scary bucket list of symptoms and include nausea, respiratory arrest, heart failure, and sometimes total paralysis, which can lead to death within minutes if not treated, from suffocation due to your diaphragm being paralysed.
There is no blue-ringed octopus anti-venom available yet, making it one of the deadliest inhabitants in the Australian ocean.
So, 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 breathe on their own.
Surprisingly, the python is non-venomous, meaning that it’s one of the few Australian creatures which isn’t toxic.
However, it’s a constrictor which may actually be even more terrifying.
The snake will initially strike at its prey and hold on, pulling its prey into its coils. Contrary to myth, the snake does not crush the prey, or break its bones. Instead, the constriction ‘shuts off’ blood flow and oxygen to vital organs such as the heart and brain, which leads to unconsciousness and death very quickly – normally in mere seconds.
The snake then unhooks its jaw, allowing it to eat animals much larger than itself, and consumes its prey whole.
Best of all, while they’re normally not considered dangerous to humans, larger specimens are easily powerful enough to kill an adult.
Giant Stinging Tree
The giant stinging tree is common in Eastern Australia and is basically a nettle on steroids.
If you should happen upon one of these particularly nasty trees, be warned that they’re covered in stingers and can cause a severe reaction if they come in contact with human skin.
Minor stings can last for an hour or two. However, severe stinging can last for several months.
The only way to remove the sting is to apply wax hair-removal strips and then yank them off to remove the hair-like barbs.
They’ve been known to kill dogs and horses that have brushed against them.
Red Back Spider
Despite looking a lot like a Black Widow they’re actually a completely different spider – but are just as dangerous.
The red back is one of the few spider species that can be seriously harmful to humans, and its preferred habitat has led to it being responsible for the large majority of serious spider bites in Australia.
Across Australia every year, around 2,000 to 10,000 people are bitten by red back spiders and the larger, more aggressive female spider is usually responsible for almost all cases of red back spider bites.
Just like the Black Widow its bite is pretty nasty and symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting, abdominal or chest pain, agitation, headache, and severe pain which usually lasts for over 24 hours after being bitten.
Unfortunately, in rare circumstances the bites can also bring on issues which include seizures, comas and even respiratory failure. Children, the elderly, and those with serious medical conditions are at much higher risk of severe effects and death resulting from a bite. Infants have died within hours of being bitten in the past.
Thankfully, an anti-venom has been available since 1956, and there have been no deaths directly due to red back bites since its introduction.
Still, it’s safe to say that Australia is an absolute NOPE-fest!
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.