The Deadliest Animals In Australia

OMG March 21, 2018 By Alexm

Australia is a country renowned for its unique and distinctly dangerous wildlife from the smallest of insects to the impressive great whites that patrol the coastlines of the country.

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Here we look at some of their most fearsome creatures including the blue-ringed octopus.


1. Blue-Ringed Octopus

A tiny and beautiful octopus that looks rather stunning, it is quite often missed as it hides in amongst coral reefs. With a painless bite that can go unnoticed, within five or ten minutes they can induce paresthesias, numbness, muscular weakness and a difficulty breathing and swallowing.

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There is no known antidote to these bites although they haven't actually killed that many people. The best thing is just to avoid them and wait it out if you do receive a bite.


2. Eastern Brown Snake

Considered the world's 2nd most venomous snake, it is native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. Typically this species doesn't issue fatal bites but it does have the power to do so, and they should be treated immediately.

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Because of their mainly rodent diet, they are often found near houses or farms thus making them that much more dangerous.


3. Inland Taipan

Australia seems to have a wealth of horrifying reptiles including the Inland Taipan whose bite can kill within the hour. Usually quite timid, they can be incredibly aggressive when deciding to attack.

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Drop for drop, the most venomous snake in the world.


4. Box Jellyfish

Named for its boxy shape, this jellyfish has a sting that can cause cardiac arrest and nerve damage if given a hefty enough dose of it.

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Its tentacles stretch more than two meters (6.4 feet), and they can lurk in muddy, unclear waters during the warmer months when people are looking to go swimming. It's for these reasons that National Geographic gave this feared aquatic species a 10/10 danger rating.


5. Honey Bee

It may not seem so deadly, and it is pretty darn common, but its relative innocuity is what makes it so dangerous. Should they swarm these bees can kill but what is most dangerous about them is that many people are allergic and don't even realize it.

Image: Jake1/Shutterstock.com 

Not the most aggressive animal, leave them be, and you'll be fine but being commonplace makes them quite deadly.


6. Bull Shark

Big, aggressive fish found in coastal waters and rivers and estuaries they are actually pretty talented scavengers and mostly go for carcasses of large sea creatures, like whales.

Image: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com

However, you don't want to be in the water when these finned beasts are around.


7. Saltwater Crocodile

Extremely good at ambushing prey with powerful jaws that clamp and twist as they drag victims under water, these crocs lurk in coastal areas and rivers and estuaries and are predominantly found in Northern Australia.

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Growing to around 4.5 meters in length (although bigger have been found), these are quite hefty predators to come across.


8. Sydney Funnel Web Spider

Australia has quite a few deadly spiders but these tiny arachnids are pretty nasty as they are found mostly in Sydney's North Shore suburbs, and exposure to direct UV light will kill them, so they have a penchant for hiding in dark places, like shoes or under piles of wood and brick.

Image: Paul Looyen/Shutterstock.com

The venom of a Sydney funnel web can cause death, as it contains a neurotoxin component that affects the nervous system.


9. Common Death Adder

Perhaps more deadly than other snakes because its reaction when confronted by danger is not to flee but rather to freeze so people are often bitten by it when walking by, and since it is well camouflaged this can be a problem.

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 The common death adder's venom causes loss of motor and sensory function and slows breathing rather rapidly.


10. Cone Shells

These predatory sea snails may look small and harmless, but their venomous stings mean that they should never be handled.

Image: Richard Ling/commons.wikimedia.org

Their highly patterned shells mean they are often picked up by humans that then get stung by the hypodermic needle-like modified radula tooth that contains many toxins.


11. Irukandji jellyfish

While we have detailed the fatal impact box jellyfish can have on human life, Irukandji jellyfish are an extremely venomous species of box jellyfish.

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Fully grown, they are roughly a cubic centimetre, making it one of the smallest and deadliest jellyfish in the world.


12. Coastal taipan

The coastal taipan, is an extremely venomous snake belonging to the Elapidae family. Found mainly in the coastal regions of northern and eastern Australia and the island of New Guinea, the Coastal taipan has the ability to do some serious damage to humans.

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Indeed, should you be unlucky enough to be bitten by one of these things, you better run fast as studies have shown they are capable of producing just as much venom in their second and third bites. 


13. The Common Death Adder

A species of death adder native to large swathes of Eastern Australia and parts of the south, It is one of the most venomous land snakes in not just Australia but the world.

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While sightings are common, the spider is facing heightened threats from the continuing cane toad invasion that has wrecked havoc with much of Australia's wildlife.


14. Tiger snake

Tiger snakes are found in southern regions of Australia and are incredibly venomous, and because of their aggressive nature, you're best bet is to hope and pray you come out alive should you come across one. 

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Also found in the coastal islands and Tasmania, Tiger snakes are known for their cobra-like posture which usually precedes an attack.


15. Redback spider

The redback spider is far from your typical creepy-crawly. Not only does it look hideous, but it is also incredibly venomous.

Flickr/ Doug Beckers

First discovered in the South Australian or adjacent Western Australian deserts, but now found throughout Australia, for children and pregnant women, a bite from a redback spider can be deadly, but for most adults, the bite is often harmless, with the redback spider more interested in devouring insects, spiders and small vertebrates than become entwined in its web. Somewhat disturbingly, the redback is one of few arachnids that practices sexual cannibalism while mating.


16. Reef Stonefish

Reef stonefish look very comic, but if you happen to come across one, they'll be anything but a source of amusement. 

Flickr/ pxhere

Synanceia verrucosa as they are known by their scientific name are charactarized by their venomous spines and are camouflaged as a rock, making them impossible to notice. Found at the bottom of coral reefs, it is the most venomous known fish in the world and can lead to instant death.


17. Bull ant

Predominantly found throughout Eastern Australia, the red bull ant, nicknamed "hoppy joe", is a species of bulldog ant from the genus Myrmecia.

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People are advised to stay away from bull ants should they find themselves in proximity to them due to their aggressive nature, and potent stings, which have been known to lead to death, particularly in the Tasmania region.


18. Ixodes holocyclus

Ixodes holocyclus, known more commonly by the eerie title, Australian paralysis tick, is actually one of around 75 species of Australian tick fauna though is considered one of the more dangerous ones.

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After all, it can paralyze human beings by injecting neurotoxins into its host although its more natural hosts are koalas, bandicoots, possums and kangaroos.


19. Carpet python

Carpet pythons belong to a large snake of the family Pythonidae found in large swathes of Australia, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomon Islands.

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Often making the rounds online for their gruesome eating habits of certain prey, which mainly consists of lizards, small birds and bats, carpet pythons have also been known to devour domesticated dogs and cats.


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