Australia is a huge landmass that shows Mother Nature’s wickedly ingenious side. Sure, you’ll find plenty of beautiful beaches here, and it’s home to some of the cutest and cuddliest mammals in the wild. But beneath those gorgeous beaches, smiling quokkas, and majestic Outback landscapes lurk some of the most ferocious creatures Mother Nature has ever come up with. Take a look at some of the creatures you’d only want to see with an expert.
1. Tasmanian Devil
It looks furry, cuddly, and can be mistaken for an oversized mouse, but it’s definitely more vicious than your common household hamster. Its cartoon version that eats everything in its path isn’t actually far from the truth. Armed with fangs that can bite through anything, it devours anything it likes whether its an animal, a car tire, or metal trap. Once its steel-blade teeth sink in, there’s no stopping the devil. It’ll keep on eating the bones, fur, and everything attached to the prey until it becomes bloated. The best part is that after binging on whatever comes on its path, it’ll take a nap beside the bloody remains of its victim because it’s too full to move.
If you want to have an up close and personal (but safe) meeting with a taz, check them out in Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Image by San Diego Zoo Animals
The lovechild of an ostrich and a velociraptor, the Cassowary is a shy, flightless bird that becomes a killing machine on two legs when provoked. It’s highly territorial, so it becomes aggressive when threatened. A pissed-off cassowary can kick your ass like a boss with its huge, dagger-sharp claws that can slash through car doors. When it attacks, it usually aims for your throat, stomach, and groin. Thankfully, fatal encounters are very rare and are mostly due to freak accidents.
See these beautifully wild animals in the Australia Zoo. Just be sure to have one of their friendly and knowledgeable staff with you when you do.
Image by Mother Nature Network
The Stonefish is one sea creature you don’t want to accidentally step on when exploring the Great Barrier Reef. With its excellent camouflage skills, carefully treading the waters to avoid doing so is useless. It looks like a rock and blends in perfectly with the gray, sandy bottom of warm, shallow waters. If you do step on it, you’ll discover that it’s armed with sharp, highly poisonous spines. You’ll need anti-venom and immediate medical attention if you get stung.
4. Cone Snail
Armed with harpoon-like tentacles filled with toxins, the cone snail is a small sea creature that packs a deadly bite. If you accidentally grabbed one because its shell looked so pretty, you’ll experience a variety of symptoms ranging from headache, paralysis, seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting. Unfortunately, there’s no antidote to a cone snail sting. You’ll have to go through the motions until your body naturally expels the toxins.
5. Blue-ringed Octopus
Image by AnimalSpot.net
Armed with a cocktail of toxins, the blue-ringed octopus is another sea creature known for its deadly sting. Beneath its hypnotic blue rings is an array of toxins that can paralyze you. Its venom is so powerful, it can kill a human in minutes if no proper medical care is given. Wearing a wetsuit won’t help because its beak is strong enough to pierce through the fabric. So if you think those shallow, tidal pools at the beach are harmless, think again. They’re home to a small, toxin-filled bottom feeder that gives out painful doses of venom as souvenirs.
6. Box Jellyfish
Image by The New Yorker
You just can’t get enough of Australia’s beaches, so you try your luck and swim across the northern Australian waters. Unfortunately, this is home to the box jellyfish, a highly deadly species that has killed at least 63 humans since 1884. It’s also invisible, thanks to its blue, transparent body and tentacles. Once it comes in contact with human flesh, prepare yourself for the most excruciatingly painful experience you’ll ever have. The box jellyfish venom is designed to target the heart, skin, and nervous system, making its attacks highly fatal to both animals and humans.
7. Sydney funnel web spider
Image by Australian Geographic
If you’re afraid of creepy crawlers, the Sydney funnel web spider is another reason why you should be. Its size is the stuff of living nightmares, its venom highly toxic to humans. When it feels threatened, it’ll stand on its hind legs and show you its huge, vicious fangs. After sinking its teeth in, it’ll go for a few more bites because it’s highly defensive.
To avoid being bitten or stung by these creatures, be extra careful when exploring Australia’s forests and beaches. Make sure you’re accompanied by an experienced ranger who knows how to avoid these creatures and more importantly, first-aid treatments for venomous bites. If you want to see one of these up close, check out local zoos that provide a safe way to observe and interact with these creatures at their natural habitats.
Want to see these hardcore creatures up close and personal? Get to one of Australia’s wildlife sanctuaries and zoos comfortably and at your own pace with a cheap car hire from Alpha!