Australia has brought the world many great things, Vegemite, lamingtons, Crocodile Dundee, and Steve Irwin. Our incredible beaches, sensational weather, and adorable fauna are just some of the reasons people from all over choose to visit us, despite the fact we also brought you Russell Crowe and almost everything here is trying to kill you.
It is no secret we are home to some of the deadliest creatures in the world, with Eastern Brown snakes, Australian Paralysis Ticks, and Redback Spiders only a few of our more famous ones. I live in an apartment in the city, and I still tap my shoe against the ground before putting them on to check for those Redback beasties.
But what about the not so famous seemingly cute or benign ones? Looking at this list, it seems there is no such thing as harmless when it comes to animals in Australia. Let’s face it, when the animals decide to rise up and take back the planet, Australia is going to be the first to go, and we are f*&ked.
You don’t get the title of The World’s Most Dangerous Bird without knowing a thing or two about how to scrap.
The Cassowary looks like the love child from an unholy union between a Turkey and a Velociraptor. Their bright blue face, red dangling bits, and hollow helmet give them a unique, almost comical look. But that is where the fun stops, their powerfully muscular legs and three-clawed tipped toes make them a force to be reckoned with.
In addition to this, they suck at doing the only thing birds are known to be good at — You are left with a giant, pissed off, flightless, ball of feathers and claws, that could eviscerate you with one Bruce Lee-esque kick.
Although often choosing to run rather than fight, if they feel you are threatening them or their young, or if they hear you make fun of their neck testicles, they will claw-fu your ass faster than you can say “birds are harmless.”
In 2019 British backpacker, Ross Saunders, posted a video of himself declaring his love for Australia and the wildlife, while filming a tiny octopus being place on his arm.
Little did Ross and his mate realise, he could have been only minutes away from death, that tiny octopus was the deadly but beautiful Blue Ringed Octopus.
Named for their stunning iridescent blue rings which they use as a warning signal to potential predators and idiotic humans. This miniature octopus prefers to avoid trouble, hiding in shallow tide pools and reefs, only coming out to feed, or for some “special” adult octopus cuddles.
When hunting for food, or when they get fed up with some human’s bullshit, the Blue Ringed octopus will bite the victim and inject a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin. In prey, this helps incapacitate them, so “Bluey” can use his beak to peck at the meaty bits.
In humans, this neurotoxin begins by blocking nerve signals throughout the body, resulting in muscle numbness. From there, the person may feel nausea, vision loss or blindness, loss of senses and loss of motor skills. Eventually, the venom will cause muscle paralysis, leading to respiratory failure and death.
What makes “Bluey’s” bite particularly scary is, you are unlikely to feel it, so, you may not know you have been bitten until it is too late.
Koala (aka Dropus Bearus)
Koalas are the teenagers of the animal kingdom, choosing to hang out in trees, chewing some eucalyptus leaves, and sleeping up to 22 hours a day rather than do their damn homework or get a job.
No trip to Australia is complete without a photo with a Koala. Their fluffy ears, big nose, soft-looking fur, and gentle eyes will make you wish you could hang out with them all day. But don’t let their innocent look fool you; these teenagers have an attitude problem, and they will mess you up.
Koalas can become quite angry and aggressive, when they feel threatened or when their mum doesn’t believe it’s not just a phase — and an aggressive Koala is a scary Koala.
With powerful leg and arm muscles, and claws designed to climb trees, Koalas can cause severe lacerations to humans with a swipe of their claws, and they have no qualms biting you to get their point across.
In 2006 some would be Koala thieves opted to steal a crocodile instead because the Koala was too vicious.
Like Koalas, Kangaroos are a massive attraction for tourists. Looking like a furry version of a T-Rex dinosaur, Kangaroos are phenomenal mammals.
Kangaroos are jacked, coming in at around 2 metres tall, and weighing up to 90 Kgs. With their powerful hind legs and tail, Kangaroos can jump up to 9 metres in one leap, and reach a top speed of 60Km/h.
Kangaroos are mostly chill, timid creatures who will choose to run away rather than fight. But, like humans, there is always one asshole who wants to ruin it for everyone. They will attack if they feel threatened, their habitat or mob numbers have changed, if there is a joey weening, or if they think you are a decent looking sparring partner.
Kangaroos can attack with their tiny T-Rex-esque arms, choosing to box and grapple their opponent leaving deep cuts. They are also likely to lean back on their tail and kick out with their hind legs. Large claws on their feet and massive muscles in their legs ensure that the kick is painful and damaging; the force is strong enough to crush bones.
Don’t think they are tough? Have a read of this
Originally thought to be an elaborate hoax, the Platypus is evidence God has a sense of humour.
The duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying, wet nursing mammal is nature’s equivalent of Frankenstein’s Monster. Despite its mishmash of animal parts, the Platypus is an adorably cute and playful animal native to parts of Australia.
Although they look incredibly huggable, if you come across one in the wild, be sure to give it some space, and whatever you do, don’t pick it up for “free hugs.”
Male Platypuses have an ankle spur which injects venom into their victim. The venom is a unique combination of toxins not found in any other animal. The venom is not lethal to humans, but it will cause excruciating pain, strong enough to incapacitate the victim.
With few natural predators, it is believed this bottom-feeding mammal uses their venomous spur during mating season to ward off other males trying to slide into their girl’s DMs.
Australian Box Jelly Fish
Looking more like a discarded plastic bag than a vicious animal of the deep, you would be forgiven thinking the only way this animal could harm you was by suffocation if you put it over your head.
Unfortunately putting one of these floating assholes on your head might result in a painful and untimely death from their tentacles touching your skin and injecting venom into your bloodstream. But at least you wouldn’t suffocate.
The Australian Box Jelly Fish is considered the most venomous marine animal in the world. These gelatinous squishies of death come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the most dangerous of which is the Irukandji (RR-ə-KAN-jee) jellyfish. Although tiny in stature, with an adult Irukandji comes in at a whopping 1cm3, these little guys pack a big punch.
One sting from an Irukandji Jellyfish can result in excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face, headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, psychological phenomena such as the feeling of impending doom, and in some cases death.
Being this nasty, it is only a matter of time before we see the movie premiere of Box Jelly Fish-Nado.
Bonus Animal: Emu
I don’t think Emu’s are that tough or scary, just another stupid, flightless bird, like a Cassowary’s younger, weaker cousin.
But in 1932 Australia declared war on Emus. The Emus won.