Every time when you see news on the television or the internet about something ridiculous or nearly impossible, it’s bound to be from Australia. New species of deadly fish/spider/snake found? – Australia (‘Straya’). Fire tornados, streets melting from the heat, giant birds that can disembowel you in one bite? – ‘Straya mate!
You know, there’s a reason why Australia used to be a prison colony. It was the ultimate punishment. But now let’s see what else is cooking in this Never-Neverland of the odd, bizarre and just plain crazy!
1) First of all let’s talk snakes. There are hundreds of species of snakes there and, what’s important, most of them are venomous. One dose of Inland Taipan’s venom could kill 100 people in just 45 minutes making it the world’s deadliest snake. Always check your boots, car engines and other warm and dark places for snakes and other unwanted passengers or you might have a really bad day.
Even if a snake isn’t venomous, you can still get in trouble. Take the Python for instance. It will squeeze you till your lungs collapse and then eat you whole; at least with the Inland Taipan snake, you have 45 minutes to contemplate your life before you die!
2) The closest thing to a raptor (think Jurassic Park here) you’ll see in real life – it’s the lovelyassowary. These guys don’t mess around! Even soldiers stationed in Australia during WW2 were told not to come near these prehistoric relics since Cassowary can run up to 30 mph over rough terrain. Just leave those birds alone if you happen to cross paths.
3) Flying fox is basically a 2-pound “megabat” living off of fruits mostly. They are usually non-aggressive unless you want to mess with their cubs. Thousands of giant bats flying over your head is probably one of the most ominous and potentially traumatizing views you’ll ever see. We hope you will have a “no bat day”!
4) This is the mysterious giant jellyfish that washed up on the southern shore of Tasmania last year. The biologists are still uncertain what its exact species is and what this 4-feet colossus was doing in Australia waters in the first place.
5) Meet Stonefish – the most venomous fish in the world. The more pressure that’s applied to the spikes on its back, the more venom that will be injected into the attacker. BTW, the venom produced by this sucker causes severe pain, paralysis, tissue necrosis and may lead to heart failure. Don’t step on it, got it?
6) Continuing our warm and fuzzy trend of “things that will kill you in ‘Straya”, here’s a tiny blue-ringed octopus. To give you a glimpse of how terrifying this fellow is, you should know that there is no known antidote. Stay away at all cost. Otherwise your loved ones will be having a wake for you and mourning your stupidity for ever going near the blue ring.
7) Turns out the world’s most poisonous mammal is a grotesque amalgamation of a bird, a reptile, and a beaver. Who’s that Pokemon? It’s a platypus, folks, and it’s poisonous! Goodbye, Australia, it was nice knowing you!… What? There’s more?
8) Oh, of course, how could we forget about spiders! We got another champion here: world’s deadliest and most aggressive spider – the Sydney funnel-web. Generally male funnel-webs are way more aggressive and about 6 times more toxic than females, but after mating, when the male is so exhausted it can’t even move, the female bites him to death and eats what’s left of the poor guy. So much for having a happy glow time after sex. A moment of silence for our fallen comrade.
Speaking of spiders, here’s another Australian beauty! Lovely, isn’t it? – No, no it isn’t, I’m sorry.
And let’s not forget the “spider rain” when the tiny arachnids were literally pouring down from the sky!
9) “Crikey!” as Steve Irwin would’ve said. Not as cringe-worthy but just as dangerous as the exhibits above, world’s largest reptiles – saltwater crocodiles. Fun fact: the word crocodile comes from the Greek “krokodeilos”, meaning “pebble worm”, which suits the scaly bastards perfectly!
10) Now that we’re done with living things that can kill you, let’s move on to forces of nature. Do you like surfing? Here’s the thickest (and the most dangerous) waves you’ll ever catch – “Cyclops”. These waves can only be accessed by boat and even then you’d need to roll a 20 to make the drop, ride it and not get killed by the reefs.
11) If you look back on the land, you may witness a fire tornado. Or not. You never know when Australia decides to ruin your day.
12) Finally something that doesn’t want to eat your soul! Each year during the months of October-December red crabs set off on a spectacular and sort of creepy journey (creepy from my perspective at least), migrating from the forest back to the ocean to chill out and procreate; well, come to think of it, maybe it’s not so creepy. It kinda like spring break that the college kids undertake in the States. These are nice, I like them. Party crabs for the win!
13) More cute stuff! The recent quokka selfie trend was incredibly aww-worthy. Just look at those cheeks! How can you not take a selfie with that fluffy little fellow?
14) What would you do if you had 1 ton of pure 99.99% gold? I would personally not turn it into the biggest coin in the world but that’s just me. 80 cm in diameter and 12 cm deep this work of art has a monetary denomination of 1 million dollars! If only there were wallets that could hold this giant.
15) Wave Rock is a magnificent example of nature being a talented sculptor. It was molded nearly half a billion years ago and, while it’s not the oldest formation in Australia, it certainly is eye-catching.
16) Did you enjoy the latest installment of Mad Max? If so, you simply must visit Silverton. It’s one of the few well-preserved 1970’s Mad Max movie locations. If you buy the locals a drink, they’ll tell you all about the good old Mel Gibson days and maybe even show you some Mad Max memorabilia.
17) Time to see the world’s biggest Geoglyph! Geoglyphs are drawings on the ground that can be seen in all their glory from a bird’s eye view. There are a few of them in Australia but the biggest and most famous one is the Marree Man. The figure of a man holding a spear is 4.2 km tall with a circumference of 15–28 km. Its creation is still shrouded in mystery.
18) Australian news articles are sometimes hardly distinguishable from badly written jokes. Maybe Stateside this would be a story about your girl friend after she ran away and joined a biker gang. Come to think of it the pig looks like… no, I won’t go there! Let this title sink in for a moment.
19) And, of course, no top list about Australia would be complete without mentioning snakes (check), spiders (check), crocodiles (check) and Steve Irwin. 9 years ago we lost arguably the best person on the planet but he’s left us his wisdom and the ever-curious spirit of adventure.
This guy came face to face with all of the above-mentioned creatures except for that unidentified jellyfish and he loved them all. He was chased by a Cassowary, fed a croc while holding his baby boy and was even bitten by a snake on live TV and acted like he didn’t even feel a thing.
Stephen Robert Irwin: February 22 1962 – September 4 2006. Gone, but never forgotten.
So after all this, you can see that ‘Straya’ is a pretty unique place with wonderful places to visit and lots of critters that might somehow prevent your return from the “Land Down Under”. But maybe to take a chance and go! It’s populated with fun loving people and you will have the chance to learn another dialect of English you didn’t know existed. Don’t be a dill! Head on down, grab a Shelia for good fun and for now: ‘HooRoo Mate’.