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It’s a popular meme, “come to Australia, you might accidentally get killed“, and while granted, we do have more deadly snakes than any other country in the world, and over 2,000 species of spider, it’s not exactly like we have wild lions, tigers, elephants, grizzly bears or hippopotamus roaming around!

True, Australia is probably the only place on earth you’ll ever see a python swallow a salt water crocodile whole. And we do have a snail that can fire a poison dart. Though realistically, you’re more likely to be eaten by a domestic cat than by a shark, and bees pose more of a threat throughout Australia than our spiders do…even though it’s the spiders who seem to incite more fear among visitors to our very foreign shores. Australia’s deadliest animals.

I’ve found it’s generally the Americans I meet who worry that my life must constantly be under threat, and for that I partially blame Steve Irwin, though, dear America, the majority of our creatures would rather slide or crawl away before they killed you. In LA, you have wild animals which hunt and eat you! “You better have a good pair of running shoes and a stun gun if you go for a walk in the bush” says Peter Mitchell. Deadliest animals in Australia.

In the US “you’ve got cougars who stalk joggers and mountain bikers, leap out of the bush and wrap their jaws around the human prey’s head, grizzly bears who are known to sniff around backyards looking for dinner, and coyotes who come down into urban areas and snatch your pet pooch. Australia wins the deadliest snakes award, but rattlesnakes are common on walking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, and Southern Californian beaches have their fair share of great white attacks, so let’s call that even.”

The point is, the idea that “everything in Australia tries to kill you” is a lot more hype than reality, and the real Australian dangers you should be paying attention to include crossing the street (we drive on the left FYI), ocean currents, and the sun. Seriously. Watch that Australian sun.

Despite the bewildering variety of frightening animals found in Australia, no-one should be put off visiting for fear of encountering them. Our most frightening may include the box jellyfish, salt water crocodiles and sharks, but our most dangerous are actually horses and honeybees.

With a little common sense, no one visiting Oz should be unduly worried about the wildlife; quite the opposite, it’s a great reason to visit. The following is a field guide to the most deadly Australian creatures. Keep in mind that you’re more likely to be killed by a horse, but it can’t hurt to be clued up about Australia’s most poisonous fauna.

A Field Guide to Australia’s Deadliest Creatures

Box Jellyfish

One of the more deadly creatures on the face of the Earth, the Box Jeallyfish is responsible for 79 out of 81 known jellyfish deaths since 1883 (it sounds a lot but that’s still less than one death per year). With near invisible tentacles carrying millions of harpoons which deliver a powerful dose of venom, it’s known as the sea-wasp, and can kill within minutes.

Most victims describe the sensation as more of an electric shock than a burn, this toxin is that strong. After contact it’s possible for cardiac arrest to occur within just 3 minutes, and mouth to mouth resuscitation and first aid procedures are essential to keep the victim alive.

This jellyfish lives along the northern coasts of Australia and can be found throughout the Great Barrier Reef. “Stinger season” runs from October to May; no animal on earth has the potential to stop a human heart so quickly, so you should take warnings on beaches very seriously.

Pro Tip: Contrary to popular belief, urinating on the sting has no discernible effect! Vinegar and peeing on the spot may reduce the pain a little bit, but medical assistance is vital. Wearing a simple stinger suit will deter these jellyfish.

Inland Taipan Snake

Out of the 10 most dangerous snakes in the world, 8 of them call Australia home. The inland Taipan is one of them, and, with enough venom to kill 100 men, this is the most poisonous snake in the world. But they inhabit extremely remote areas, and are so shy that it’s highly unlikely you’ll encounter one.

They generally live in the middle of the red center of Australia, and rarely make it above ground. With 41 recorded deaths between 1980 and 2009, snake deaths in Australia average out at less than two per year.

Eastern brown snake

The second most venomous snake in the world, however easily more dangerous than the first, the eastern brown is responsible for the most snake related deaths in Aus. Larger, more common and much more aggressive than the inland taipan, they feed on mice (though their venom is also highly effective on humans too) and thrive in populated areas.

Aggressive in their attacks, if provoked, the snake will raise itself off the ground and form an S-shaped curve, preparing to fire its venom, which induces blood clotting. Again, it’s unlikely you’ll see one of these, though if you give them a wide enough berth they’ll do the same to you!

The Blue-ringed Octopus

You don’t want to annoy a Blue-ringed Octopus – they are as deadly as they are beautiful. Occupying the Great Barrier Reef, these are not particularly aggressive creatures, so are if you’re lucky enough to see them diving just maintain a safe distance.

Though with enough venom to kill 26 people, when agitated, the creature’s skin becomes a bright yellow and pulsating iridescent blue rings appear, and it produces a neurotoxin 10,000 times more powerful than cyanide. The same incredibly strong neurotoxin is found in arrow poison frogs and pufferfish – there is no known antidote, and it causes motor paralysis, eventually leading to cardiac arrest.

This is one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean, however it actually claims less deaths (just 3 in the last century) than eating incorrectly prepared fugu fish – a Japanese delicacy – which contains the same nerve toxins.

Stonefish

Also found on Australian reefs, the pain of a sting from a stonefish alone can be lethal. Victims have described it as “producing such mind-blowing agony that the body goes into shock and the person dies”, and the pain can be so excruciating that it leads to the amputation of the affected limb. Fun times!

This can be found in the Tropic of Capricorn as well as the Great Barrier Reef, and generally camouflages itself at the bottom of Australia’s reefs as a rock. There has only been one unconfirmed death by stonefish which was in 1915.

Kangaroo

While not exactly dangerous in the wild, anyone who has driven on Australian roads will know just how deadly free roaming kangaroos can be. You’ll see them lying in vast numbers on the side of Australian roads, and they do serious damage to your car (and it’s occupants) if they get hit.

Kangaroos in Australia roam free, and their numbers are huge. To give you an idea, the Australia Government ordered the culling of 15,000 kangaroos in 2002 to minimize problems with the increasing population. Make sure you’re alert when driving, and try to stay off the roads at night.

Saltwater Crocodile

One of Australia’s most fierce and famous creatures! The largest of all living reptiles, the salt water crocodile inhabits the Northern regions of Australia, and has the strongest bite of any other creature on earth…even beating out the Great White Shark!

It is responsible for 1-2 known deaths every year, and usually racks up an annual 4-10 non fatal attacks too. It’s most powerful attack is the “Death Roll” whereby it grabs its prey and rolls with it until it dies.

Human meat isn’t exactly their favorite meal, however these “salties” are opportunistic hunters, and will jump on anything that moves. Generally infested rivers and beaches are well signposted with warnings, however if you’re unsure if it’s safe to swim, ask a local for advice.

Bull shark

Great white sharks may be the most fearsome if you were to come face to face, though they have an undeserved reputation – it’s the bull sharks in Australia which claim the most human prey. While great whites are responsible for an average of just one death per year, world-wide, bull sharks pose a more imminent threat as they come very close to beaches to look for food.

These sharks inhabit both fresh and saltwater, making it into rivers and estuaries, and after flooding in early 2011, one was even reported being seen in a suburban street! Though they’re very rarely of any danger to humans. Just steer clear of swimming in murky waters where there is zero visibility and you could be mistaken for prey.

“Remember that only ten people die in the world every year by shark attack. But 150 die from a coconut falling right on the head.”

Funnel Web Spider

This one is for the arachnophobes – a spider with a set of fangs longer than that of a brown snake, and so powerful that they can pierce a fingernail! Found in populated urban areas of New South Wales, the Funnel Web is more common than other creatures on this list, though a bite can be just as lethal, and requires immediate medical attention. The spider often wanders through domestic gardens and occasionally drops into swimming pools, though no fatalities have been recorded since the anti-venom was developed in 1981.

Responsible for less bites than the well known redback spider, the funnel web is still one of the most deadly spiders on earth due to it’s insanely toxic venom, and reputation for being one of the world’s most aggressive spiders, willing to cling on and deliver multiple bites in one go.

Pro Tip: Regardless of where you are in Oz, shake out your boots and clothing before putting them on just in case a spider has sought shelter there first.

Avoid Australia’s Worst Killers

So while Australia may be infamous for it’s fierce and fearsome creatures, in fact the country’s worst killers are horses, honeybees, and the ocean swell. “The best advice I would give anyone about staying safe in Australia would be nothing to do with avoiding scary creatures. It would be “swim between the flags” if you are going to take a dip in the sea.”

Though if you’re still worried about encountering our wacky and wonderful wildlife, just make sure you’re traveling with fully comprehensive insurance which covers international travel medical.

Pro Tip: We go through Timothy Jennings at Individual Health for travel health insurance with #GeoBlue. We love them as they’re a worldwide insurer who offer the most complete set of benefits and services in the industry, and they make their best attempt to arrange direct payment no matter which medical provider you see. 

For more information on insurance with GeoBlue contact Tim Jennings at sales@individualhealth.com or click for a free quote.

Photo credits: Featured by Jon Connell. Pinterest Images: Box Jellyfish by Guido, Second box jellyfish image to appear by James Brennan. Blue Ringed Octopus by Angell Williams & Steve Childs. Funnel Web Spiders by Alan Couch. All other images by Mapping Megan. 

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Brought to you by IndividualHealth.com

    83 Comments

  1. Scary post! This might be one of the reasons why I always preferred New Zealand over Australia. When I got known that there is not even one poisonous nor venomous species of animal or plant in New Zealand I felt wonderful! I’m pretty sure that the numbers don’t lie and that your life in Australia is less scary than some people might think. I remember how surprising (but true!) it was to comparing a number of deaths caused by sharks and by malaria annually. A conclusion? The mosquitoes killed more people on this planet than all other animals and all wars put together!

    • Well NZ definitely has that going for it! I did hear that it’s one of the few countries in the world which has absolutely 0 snakes!! As you said though, the numbers of actual deaths in Australia from these creatures are so minimal and the numbers don’t lie, so we’re not actually living in a constant state of threat over here :D

      Much more hype than actual reality! I have a mosquito net so if they’re the deadliest creatures then I’m golden lol :)

  2. I try not to let fear get in my way of having a good time though when backpacking the Cradle Mountain trails years ago I was definitely on alert for poisonous snakes – and saw not a one.

    • Absolutely Leigh! There are a lot less poisonous creatures actually out there, and Australia is such a huge country that you generally have to be fairly unlucky to run into one :)

  3. You’re killing me with these spider pictures! I want to read the article, but I have to navigate around the ugly things. Plus, I’m suddenly rethinking my decision to move to Australia. Why do all the deadliest things in the world live in Australia??

    • Aren’t they beautiful though :D I’m not a huge spider person, though I do appreciate photos of the more stunning ones!

      Lol and don’t worry though, as I said, it’s much more hype than actual fact, and the majority of these creatures live o remotely that you never come into contact with them. I promise you your life won’t constantly be under threat!! Do make sure you’re set up with a good insurance policy before heading over though :)

  4. Now why did I click this post? To torture myself obviously.

    I have to say that those eight legged demons have kept me away from Australia all this time. It’s not fear… I have a vomit reaction to them.

    Some of the other critters in your list are amazing though!

    E x

    • Haha lol they’re not that bad :D It’s actually very rare that you see spiders here in the city’s – I’m not a huge personal fan, though we do have a huge collection of photography because Mike enjoys hiking out into the middle of the untamed bush! But if you’re not an off the beaten path type of hiker you’ll be totally fine!

      Aren’t some of the other creatures beautiful though!! Crazy what we’ve got here in the land down under! Don’t let the spiders keep you away, I promise the country is absolutely worth it even if you do run into one :D

  5. Great post! I hope my mother doesn’t read it ;)

    I love outdoor activities, diving and roadtrips hence I am well aware of these dangers (and had few encounter stories) but I think we can minimize them by using common sense and taking some good habits! I see Australia as a “safety first” country and they communicate well about all this!

    I like that you mention the sun and the road accidents: I do agree that these ones are more likely to ruin your holidays in Australia than spiders and snakes!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Eloise! I absolutely agree that the easiest way to minimize risks when traveling through Aus is by using common sense. We really are a country which puts safety first and if we see someone being an idiot we’ll sure tell them so!

      And absolutely re the sun – causes more health issues than any of the creatures I mentioned above!

      Happy travels :) Hope you can make it to Aus again soon!

  6. You left out at least one prolific killer … the Great Australian Road Train! Give it plenty of space; those guys don’t often take prisoners! :D

    • Very true! Great point Keith! Definitely don’t want to get in their way – I’ve seen them barrel through the roads, a few nearlly wiped us off on a recent roadtrip!

      Happy travels :)

  7. Ick! I am thanking you in advance for my upcoming spider nightmare ;) We spent a week on a cattle ranch in NSW, and I bottle-fed a calf whose mother had been killed by a brown snake. Been respectful ever since!

    • Lol sorry about that Larissa :D But at least the majority of them are fairly beautiful at the same time :D … funnel web excluded!!

      :( Sad to hear that the calf had been left orphaned due to a snake – my relatives live on an acreage out in Tasmania and they’re dog had to be put down as he was unfortunately taken down by a snake also. Really though if you’re not spending too much time in rural areas there’s not much to worry about.

      Happy travels!

  8. Those jellyfish are so beautiful, though, it’s a shame. They remind me of filigreed blown glass.

    • Aren’t they just! As I said, definitely stunning if you’re lucky enough to observe them from a distance! Just a shame they’re so lethal up close :S!

  9. Too funny–whenever Australia comes up in conversation my husband automatically thinks about all the deadly creatures–he’s quite terrified of snakes in particular! :) Never thought about kangaroos being dangerous, but I guess it makes sense that they would be a danger for drivers. Everything else in Australia looks pretty amazing though–would love to visit sometime!

    • Kangaroos are more of a pest – they literally do just jump straight out in front of your car though, so a lot of the highways are now being built with barriers to avoid that. Driving at night can be particularly dangerous, but as long as you’re careful and practice common sense, Australia is an amazing country to be :)

  10. I agree. As an American who lived in Australia and spent much time in the bush, it was rare to come across the nasties, particularly the snakes, which slithered away quickly. I came across rattlers much more often when working in the American West. There were a lot of redbacks around the pool furniture though!

    • Absolutely – what most people don’t realize when they’re thinking about our creatures is that they would genuinely rather slither away than confront and fight it out. I lived in Australia for 25 years and then the first snake I came across was while hiking in the Everglades after having moved to Florida lol so if that says anything :D!

  11. Fascinating post. This just goes to show what unique and interesting wildlife Australia has. I haven´t travelled there so far but would love to visit someday. I won´t be venturing out into the outback though.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Molly! We really do have some wildlife which is just totally unique – I guess our isolation means that the species here really don’t have a lot of opportunity to spread and branch out across other continents which is why they’re often viewed as so exotic by the rest of the world.

      Australia has some great destinations even if you’re not keen on the Outback – the majority of our population live on the East Coast in cities like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, so still plenty to experience and do!

  12. I am not super afraid of spiders but not the hugest fan of snakes. I really enjoy getting out and looking at the wildlife though. Wildlife is some of the best way to reconnect with nature that we get disconnected from in big cities.

    • Absolutely agree with you Angela! We love traveling for the wildlife and it’s one of our favorite ways to feel like we’re truly experiencing a destination and gaining an authentic travel experience.

  13. Great post. As a ‘new’ Australian I had of course heard all the scary stories which made me a bit cautious the first few times I saw a snake or spider but I love seeing the variety of fauna we get hiking in Australia (and in the back yard). Most of it is adorable and unique, we live in suburbia and get koala, possums and bandicoots as regular visitors.

    • Thanks Toni! We really do have a huge variety of fauna for hikers, and even those who prefer to set up a hammock in their backyard :D We’re up in Canberra, so we don’t get the Koalas, though really love visiting Victoria and QLD to catch glimpses of those adorable guys!

  14. Wow! I heard that Australia has a lot of weird deadly creatures, but I never imagined it would be this bad! Haha Although there are loads of deadly animals on this list, it sure won’t stop me from exploring Australia’s wild outdoors!

    • Haha well I’m glad that we haven’t scared you off from exploring our wild outdoors, because it really is such a fabulous country to explore :) And as I said, just give these animals a wide berth if you happen to come across them and they’ll generally offer you the same :) Happy travels!

  15. I enjoyed this post about the fascinating wildlife of Australia- like everyone I’d seen the meme but had no idea what they were talking about. From what you describe of the eastern brown snake, I’d be fascinated to see it in action- just not on myself ;)
    Also, the blue-ringed octopus is so beautiful, even if deadly.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Natasha :) Snakes are definitely a fascinating species – when we’re photographing them we generally hike out with our GoPro extender as we’ve found they can only usually jump their body length in one go, so using the extender we’re pretty safe in case they try to strike :D

  16. I am from the US and (like you) have had a lot of people tell me that they are scared of getting bit by a snake or attacked by a bear. Of course, that hardly ever happens. But, I think that people around the world view countries like the U.S. and Australia as being more “dangerous” in this way. Although an Australian friend of mine did mention that she always had to check her shoes for spiders. Just in case…! Anyway, nice list – I didn’t know that most of these animals existed :)

    • Checking your shoes for spiders is never a bad thing to do in Aus, because they do have a habit of wandering through residential gardens and pools and into your garage :D But generally as you said, encounters with deadly creatures hardly ever happen – it’s just more the stereotype than anything because people who haven’t lived here can only imagine what it must be like :)

  17. I will never, ever, show this post to my family when we make plans to visit Australia! Agree you need good medical insurance lol. On a serious note, I think that travel in general is always generating some kinds of risks. You have given a scary overview of things you can encounter. It’s good to know that you always have to be careful. Didn’t know kangaroos where such a threat though..

    • Haha maybe don’t give them extra reasons to worry about you :D Absolutely agree that travel in general will always generate risks, heck even staying at home will generate risks. But I’ve found if you employ common sense when it comes to safety and make sure you’re never without proper insurance, then you’re fine for the majority of situations.

      And kangaroos are probably the biggest risk just because they’re so common – where-as every other creature on this list you’ll be lucky to come across if you try!

  18. As much as I’d love to visit Australia now you made me reconsider it! These animals are just so horrible! I got shivers just by reading this post and looking at pictures! Guess I just prefer all these cute animals, like seals or penguins ;)

    • Oh no Kami don’t say that! I can put together a cute list of Australian creatures for you too if you want lol we’ve got the penguins, the koalas and the cute fluffy joey kangaroos too; and these are a lot more common that the crazy creatures above :D

  19. Omg a snail that darts poison?? I’m googling that now, that’s insane! This was really interesting, thanks for putting it together Meg! I think Australia gets a bad rep for some of its species if accidents happen with them but honestly how many people get hit by buses in cities and towns? People don’t stop crossing the road or taking the bus do they?

    • Crazy right!! Glad you enjoyed the post Mel :) And you’ve hit the nail on the head – you hear about shark attacks, for instance, on the other side of the world because it’s so exotic and out there and uncommon, though even though this may only happen once a year you never hear about the car crashes which happen every day, or the people who get taken out from drunk driving etc.

      So it’s very easy for foreigners to jump on the stereotypes without having experienced it yet for themselves.

  20. I’ve always wanted to visit Austrailia, but this posts has me feeling a little scared. I’ll make sure to be extra careful when I do reach down under. I’ve actually gotten stung by a jellyfish before soI would rather not experience it again.

    • Don’t feel scared Jeh :) As I said, it’s super uncommon that you’ll ever even encounter one of these guys, though just give them a wide berth if you do happen to come across them and they’ll generally do the same for you. Most of the time these creatures, while deadly, are very shy and not agressive in nature at all – they’ll only strike out if they feel cornered or that their life is under threat.

      Sorry to hear that you’ve been stung by a jellyfish before :S I cant imagine that was pleasant!!

  21. Eeeeek! This is one of those lists that I just can’t look away from…though I stopped short of clicking to find out what the other most aggressive spiders are! That won’t stop me from planning a visit to Australia ASAP!

    • Glad to hear you’re still keen to visit Aus Beth! We’re an amazing country, and honestly you probably won’t even come across any of these unless you’re trying really, really hard to!

  22. You’ve just summarize the only reasons I have for NOT going to Australia! ;) Although deadly animals aren’t going to keep me away, the size of some of the spiders are enough to keep me fearful!! As for the deadly creatures, we actually dove with box jellyfish…accidentally…in Thailand. We didn’t realize how deadly they were until AFTER the dive as our instructor didn’t want to scare us while we were already in the water!

    • Glad to hear the deadly animals won’t keep you away Carolann! As I mentioned, they’re fearful creatures, though the majority of the time they would rather slither away than start a fight. We’re much bigger and scarier to them then they are to us!

      Crazy that you dove with a box jellyfish! They’re beautiful aren’t they! Glad to hear you came out alive – probably a good choice on the part of the dive instructor to not scare you while you were under there :) They’re safe as long as you’re at a distance.

  23. Reading this while eating breakfast wasn’t the best idea I ever had….Kidding. It’s a very informative article. I guess I’ve only heard of half of those deadly creatures before. If I ever go to Australia, I’ll learn even more about them. You have to know your enemy, right? I love how a poor kangaroo has made it to the list….but I can imagine hitting them might be harming….

    • Absolutely re having to know the enemy lol though you would honestly be lucky to come across any of these if you really tried hard, though if you do just give them a wide berth and they’ll do the same to you. While deadly, a lot of them aren’t actually overly agressive. The Kangaroos, while not aggressive lol they’re just fairly stupid – jump right onto the road in front of your car!

  24. I LOVED reading this! Firstly as am a naturalist/conservation scientist and big fan of all things wildlife..even the ones I am scared of (spiders) Secondly we are headed to Australia next year on a 6 week road trip and I can’t wait to see some of these creatures for myself. I do love being in NZ and it’s nice to be able to hike and do outdoors without worrying about dangerous creatures, but I also look forward to going to Australia. Useful tip on the insurance! will be sure to revisit this post before we go :-)

    • So glad o hear Samiya! A 6 week roadtrip through Australia sounds epic, I’m so excited that you’ll be experiencing the country; roadtrip is probably the best way to see as much as possible as it’s the small quirky towns between the major cities which you miss when flying which really make the trip.

      I can see how NZ would definitely take the worry out of hiking out in the bush, but at least here in Aus we make it interesting … never know what you might find :D! On a serious note though just give the creatures above a wide berth if you do happen to run into them and they’ll do the same for you. Not overly aggressive in general. And definitely check out GeoBlue if you’re not already hooked up with insurance. Highly recommend them for excellent coverage when abroad.

      Happy travels!

  25. I do have to say, the animals over there were ginormous in size!! Thanks for the lowdown. Also, those kangaroos are feisty!!!!! I went to take a picture with one and I thought it was going to wrestle me. Lol

    • Kangaroos really are fiesty things!! People don’t realize that they’re quite tempered when they want to be! And just ridiculously stupid too lol they jump straight out in front of your cars – such a road hazard!

  26. Meg! As always your post is great and very educational! I am not from the US but I belong to those people who think traveling to Australia means you will never make it out of there alive! We obviously it is not true and at the beginning of your post I felt stupid for thinking that. But then you introduced all of the “friendly” animals one by one and I again started to think maybe Australia should be at the end of my list because I have panic attacks everytime I see a spider. Even your photos of the spiders scare the hell out of me, and the last one -it can pierce a fingernail? That is unbelievable! To be honest I have never heard of the blue ringed octopus and box jellyfish, and even though they are stunning ocean creatures, it is almost unbelievable how powerful they can be!
    Thanks for writing this post! All the information I need for my maybe Australia trip is at one place!
    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks so much Danka! So psyched to hear you’re enjoying the posts :) Nature certainly can be a powerful force, and the crazy wildlife we’ve got here is shocking sometimes to even me lol, though the important thing to remember is that these are generally pretty rare, and the majority of the population lives along the East Coast in massive cities where-as these animals live way out in the oceans or bush.

      Australia is a magical country, so maybe I’ll publish a post on the genuinely cute creatures we’ve got too just to push it a little higher back up your list :D

  27. Megan – great post (again)

    I’m on the fence: should the nature photographer in me take advantage of all these beautiful animals and come to Australia to capture them, OR should I go back to New Zealand, where the sandflies are probably the most dangerous animal to us humans…
    (And no, I really must visit Australia)

    thank you for sharing this, Happy travels!

    • Must really visit Australia :D Let the nature photographer in you win out!

  28. Yipes! Of all of them, the snail that can shoot poison darts has me creeped out the most. I wouldn’t have thought to include kangaroos but you have a very good point that they could do serious damage if you hit one with your car. I’ve been unlucky enough to hit a deer once – very scary experience.

    • Lol that one has creeped out a few people Jen, so you’re definitely not alone! Sorry to hear you’ve been unlucky enough to hit a deer – kangaroos are our equivalent. They have no sense of danger when it comes to the roads and they’re a huge hazard. Half the time they’re built so much like a brick that they’ll total your car, though will then just hop off unscathed. Fun times!!

  29. Megan, this is so scary! I didn’t know there was 3000 species of spider, my least favorite animal. I guess there is no way to stay away from the insects -or preferably, keeping the insect out of us. Nobody really likes to use repellent all the time, right?

    It took my by surprise that cangaroo also causes death, but yeah, it makes sense when it runs across the road with cars.

    I am glad to have my travel insurance – just in case I will make it to Australia some time soon!

    • Kangaroos I think are the most dangerous because they’re so common, and in such huge numbers, and they really have no sense of danger when it comes to jumping across the street. And because people tend to put their fear into the little creepy crawlies and spiders so they’re more relaxed around creatures like kangaroos :D

  30. While it easy to fall into fear, most of us have plenty of poisonous spiders/snakes and even sharks where we live. Be aware, take precautions and don’t let fear get the best of you.

    • Absolutely Mary – people are mos afraid of the unknown which is why I think it’s always very easy to be apprehensive about going somewhere if we’re not sure about the safety or have heard things about crazy exotic creatures of which we have no knowledge about.

      Common sense for ensuring safety is key :)

  31. Were you trying to put me off from wanting to visit Australia? I would still go, despite all the dangers! Jelly fish though… they scare the living life out of me. We have them here too – though not deadly – and I have had a close encounter with one a few years ago. NOT pleasant at all. I can only imagine what the one in Australia must feel like. When I swim and see them I turn into Ian Thorpe (just to keep Australian, lol) and swim as fast as I can to get away from them!

    • Haha glad you’re still willing to come despite the chance of imminent death :D Though as mentioned, the majority of tourists flock into the cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, so there’s really not too many of these creatures around. You just have to deal with our wild humans in that case :D

  32. Ugh thank god that in all of my visits to Australia I haven’t come across many of these! I did have to wear a stinger suit on the great barrier reef though, but my head and hands were left uncovered, kind of defeats the purpose! lol

    • Stinger suit in the GBR is definitely a good idea, though maybe next time you go back something to cover the hands and feet would be a good addition too :D

  33. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch much TV, but I had no idea that Australia has so many of the world’s deadliest creatures. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia for its beauty, and I still do, but I have to admit your great, informative article gave me the creeps.

    • Well I do give them one thing, as deadly as a lot of these creatures are the majority of them are quite beautiful. It would just be about surveying them at a reasonable distance and investing in a really good zoom lens :D

      Happy travels Connie! I hope you can get to Aus sometime soon :)

  34. Yikes! This is one dangerous post. I wish I won’t ever come across to any of these deadly creatures when I come to Australia!

    • Honestly you probably wont – a lot of them live in the very middle of the desert or way out in the oceans and seas. The majority of the tourist attractions and population in AUs lives along the East Coast and you hardly get any of these animals in the city’s. Except for kangaroos – they’re everywhere here!

  35. I visited Australia as a 7 year old on my grandfathers farm and used to sit outside in the fields at night and watch the kangaroo! I always laugh at my mum when i tel her i could have been killed by a snake or a spider or something else deadly! But it is true that you are probably most at risk by those pesky kangaroo who jump infant of drivers! We have the same issue in Canada, while we have bears and cougars and other large dangerous animals, the deer who run in the traffic kill more people each year!

    • Isn’t it crazy!! Though if you were to tell someone that deers were more dangerous than a cougar or a bear they would likely think at first thought that you were mad!

  36. I’m scared to go to Australia now! :) Definitelly on my bucket list, I really want to travel there one day.
    I love nature and adventure so I think I won’t be afraid of those animals but from spiders. I hate them!!

    • Lol don’t be scared :D As I said, most of these would rather slither away than actually attack you – they may be deadly though most of the time very shy :D!

  37. Very interesting post Meg! Even if the likelihood of getting stung by a bee or eaten by a cat is higher, I’d still much rather battle the ferocious kitty any day! Hahaha

    It’s crazy that a Bull Shark was reported washing up on a street during flooding. I remember a few years back these were a big problem in Hawaii (not street roaming sharks, but Bull Sharks attacking in general). I respect them, as I do all animals, but I do make sure the waters are clear any day I decide to go surfing for this reason.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Ron! Lol and that’s probably true, though cats can be so vicious when angry lol give me the snake :D

      And absolutely re making sure the waters are clear before you head out – the bull shark which was caught up in the residential flooding was crazy – not every day you see a fin swimming down your local street!

  38. Now I live where there are Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, and far up north there are Polar Bears… but not one of them has enough venom like that blue circle octopus to kill 27 people! I will keep my cuddly Alaska bears any day :)

    • Haha we recently visited Alaska and spent some time with your “cuddly” bears :D They’re definitely majestic creatures though I’m not sure I would give one a hug hehe :D

  39. While Aus has some scary resident creatures, I’m pretty proud of our wildlife! It’s so different to anything else found worldwide and often so beautiful! Sharks are incredibly stunning up close and as you said, many are pretty misunderstood :) cheers for sharing!

    • I can’t wait to go cage diving with sharks – I’ve never been up close and personal with them, though I agree with you Robyn, they’re such majestic and usually very misunderstood creatures.

      And agree that I wouldn’t trade our wildlife for the world – we have some of the most unique and exotic creatures on the face of the planet – you definitely can’t call us boring!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Relyn … Hope you have the chance to visit Australia soon :)

  40. A really good and comprehensive post!
    Just to add, kangaroo-wise, you should be careful not only at night time but also at dusk as that’s when they come out more often.
    Same goes with sharks – they come closer to shore at dusk.

    • Great tip, and yes totally agree – dusk is also when you should be driving with heightened precaution; though didn’t realize it was also when sharks came closer to the shore. Duly noted, thanks!

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