Nestled between the Indian and Pacific oceans lies a little slice of paradise... one that the most terrible, venomous, predatory creatures call "home". No, we're not talking about the island from Lost, friend; instead, we take you to the tenth circle of hell, known to the rest of the world as "Australia." Sure, they've lobbed some deceptively safe curve balls our way in the past... Gotye, INXS, and the opportunistically doltish Crocodile Dundee, to name a few, but they also grow some of the most dangerous and deadly species known to man. Check out this roundup, lest people refer to you after your next Aussie vacay as "somebody that I used to know..."
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There are around 520 species of spider wriggling around Australia, most of which are extremely venomous and will not hesitate to bite if you encroach their turf (or poke them with a stick). Some prominent characters to avoid include the Red Back, Mouse spider, Wolf spider, Black House spider, and Funnel Web spider (one the the most venomous in the world -- nay, the UNIVERSE).
14. Saltwater crocodiles
These unholy creatures typically wreak havoc in the sea and defy logic by eating pretty much anything, even other tough apex predators. Males can reach up to 4,400lbs and over 20ft long. No thanks. A normal diet for these barbarian reptiles consists of sharks, bears, tigers, and artisanal pickled radish. The crocs thrive in the Northern Territory, due to the horrifying reality that they literally have zero predators. Seriously, not even the Predator can stop these things.
13. The heat
Because Australia's climate is dominated "by the hot, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt which moves north and south with the seasons", it can get stupid hot. Temps out in the Outback have reached highs as sweltering as 122°F (not to mention lows that fall well below zero). Think a hat will help you? It might, if it isn't already home to a pissed off Funnel spider.
This shot is not Photoshopped. There's actually a break in Australia where the ocean is filled with so much self-hatred it crashes in on itself with the fury of a thousand Danny Bonaduces. And one day, someone thought to himself, "Hmm... that death-filled 40ft wall of ocean slightly resembles a wave; I shall go forth and surf it, because Australia!" If you look closely at the picture, you'll actually see a wave breaking on top of the wave that's breaking, which makes sense when you realize the only rule Down Under is DON'T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB.
Lurking around the streets of Woolloomooloo (best Sydney neighborhood name, ever), there is a strange creature that science has dubbed the Russell Crowe. The RC's a wandering mammal who can typically be found smoking more than 60 cigarettes a day, an adaptation that's been carried on for around 36 years. Though primarily a solitary mammal, there can be dire consequences when the Russell Crowe is provoked; one of its primary means of defense is to confuse prey with temperamental jargon, then throw a mobile phone.
10. Cone snails
This seemingly wussy-looking mollusk is the Cone snail, and it sucks. Here's why; it's evolved an utterly non-rad radular tooth that can be launched out of its mouth like a harpoon at unsuspecting prey (and your foot). After that, the snarpoon will pump you full of neurotoxins, ensuring that you puke and crap yourself until the poison has successfully filtered through your bloodstream. Fuck this thing.
9. Rugby players
Similar to American football athletes, but requiring much less money and padding, Australian rugby players are a tribe to avoid. Typically found in packs, rugby players greet one another with a lofty punch to the face or stern shove to the shoulder. Their primary habitat is the field (or "pitch"), but they often migrate to pubs when looking to quench a thirst or set fire to a dwarf.
Most noteworthy, the Great White. When these mega-fish aren't kicking it with their best buds, the saltwater crocs, they're eating whatever the hell they can wrap their 222 razor-sharp teeth into (hint: that's anything that moves). Yep, these brazen hunters are equipped with the Ampullae of Lorenzini, a magical death adaptation enabling them to detect electromagnetic fields emitted from anything with a pulse.
This unsuspecting marsupial edged out the diminutive baby-feasting dingo in the fight for the Outback's most cuddly killer. Quick 'roos can reach speeds around 44mph over short distances, and spend most of their time hanging out in their groups, or "mobs". When not laundering kangaroo money and extorting kangaroo cafés, these rabble-rousers can be found face-punching pedestrians and stomping on small vehicles.
6. Drop bears
Okay, you got me. This is a picture of a koala... or is it?! "Drop bears" closely resemble koalas to fool you into liking them, but have zero qualms about dropping from treetops to attack. They purportedly have super attractive forearms and are about the size of an average dog. A good way to secure your safety when in Drop bear territory is to wizz on yourself and speak with an Australian accent, which is also a good way to maintain your abstinence with attractive Australians.
5. Giant centipedes
Inhabiting the nightmares of everyone, everywhere, the Giant centipede is able to grow to a whopping 6¼ inches of pure terror. The insect spawn of Satan is naturally equipped with a pair of venomous claws that sting its victims, because having scores of legs running haphazardly in no particular direction isn't terrifying enough. If they develop wings one day through some sort of sorcery, which may just happen in Australia, I'm moving to space.
4. Eastern Brown snakes
These lil' critters are the 2nd most venomous snakes in the world. They slither up the entirety of the east and north coasts, and prefer to take up residence in barns and homes in the suburbs. Although the snake isn't typically looking for trouble, when provoked they'll crane their necks into an abnormal, ungodly contortion, and chase you around the yard until they bite you, which will inflict a terrible pain that'll make you double-over, crap your pants, paralyze you, and, eventually (if untreated), kill you.
This goofy-looking Darwin-defier is a super pissed-off flightless bird that hates you: it can grow to 6ft tall, run at speeds of up to 31mph, jump to heights of 5ft, and is an excellent swimmer, so you'll never be able to hide from the cassowary. They are the actually-living version of the raptors in Jurassic Park, and this time, there's no T-Rex to save your ass. Don't believe me? These birds attack hundreds of people every year, and have even killed before. Turkeys are such wusses compared to their Aussie cousins.
2. Box jellyfish
If you're STILL thinking about taking a dip in the alluring, azure waters off Oz, this spineless, floating pain-palace will put the brakes on that plan. Enter the Box jelly: an extremely venomous and dangerous killer whose complete insouciance and disregard for life would make a grown man cry. It'll sting you, realize it can't eat you, then just keep swimming around to enjoy your agonizing pain. Worst ocean friend ever. What makes this species even more dangerous is the fact that they hunt their prey (unlike most jellies, which just drift aimlessly into their dinners) and have short-term memory issues, so after stinging you once they'll do so again JUST BECAUSE.
Although it looks like a gross swimming rock, it's actually a super poisonous fish covered in needle-like spines. What a twist! Rather than actually swimming it stays stationary on rocks to camouflage itself, and is sometimes encountered by unfortunate swimmers. Here's a quote from the victim of one such Stonefishing: "Imagine having each knuckle, then wrist, elbow, and shoulder being hit with a sledgehammer over the course of about an hour. Then imagine taking a real kicking to both kidneys for about 45min." If you're thinking, "Phew, good thing I read this article and will never, ever swim in Australian waters", Stonefish can survive on land for up to 24hrs. Perhaps it's best to go to New Zealand after all...