If you've ever visited or even read much about Australia, you probably know that this country that's also an island and a continent is famous for its wide variety of crazy critters. Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, Australia is home to some of the world's most deadly creatures.
So if you're headed to Australia, there are several dangerous beasts you'll want to avoid. For example, if you see a man-sized, flightless bird with wild eyes headed your way, give it a wide berth. The cassowary is slightly smaller than the ostrich, but it packs an attitude and a dagger-like middle toe that can wreak havoc in an attack.
If you're wandering the outback, though, you're probably more concerned with some of Australia's famous snakes and spiders. The Sydney funnel-web spider, for example, is known for being aggressive. Resembling a tarantula with long fangs, It's also known for venom that's twice as strong as cyanide. Even more famous is the red back spider, which bites thousands of people each year. Luckily, its venom produces severe pain but rarely causes death.
When it comes to slithering threats, Australia has its fair share. The inland taipan features the most powerful venom of any snake on Earth. Fortunately, it's not particularly aggressive and lives only in the most remote areas.
Much more dangerous is the eastern brown snake, which boasts the second most powerful venom. The eastern brown snake is also bigger, more common, and much more aggressive than the inland taipan, plus it can be found much closer to populated areas. Other extremely dangerous snakes to be on the lookout for include the tiger snake and the death adder.
With all of these land-based threats, you might be tempted to head to the waters off Australia's shores. Sadly, that could be a deadly mistake if you run into one of the many deadly sea creatures that call the waters of Australia home. For example, the textile cone is a type of snail you won't want to encounter. A snail? Seriously? Think of it as a killer snail able to shoot a tiny harpoon full of a neurotoxin powerful enough to kill a human being.
If you're enjoying the waters off of one of Australia's coasts, there are several other threats you'll want to avoid. The stonefish, for example, looks like a rock, but it's actually the most venomous fish in the world. If you accidentally step on one, it can inject you with a powerful neurotoxin that can cause excruciating pain and even death.
Likewise, the box jellyfish can also claim to be one of the world's most lethal sea creatures. With powerful venom, its stings are incredibly painful and sometimes fatal. In fact, one box jellyfish can contain enough venom to kill 60 human beings! You'll also want to keep an eye out for the blue-ringed octopus. Its dangerous venom, known as TTX or tetrodotoxin, is 1,200 times stronger than cyanide, which means the tiniest bite can be fatal.
If you're successful at avoiding all these perils of the Australian seas, you'll still want to be sure you don't venture into waters teeming with two of the world's most fearsome apex predators: the saltwater crocodile and the great white shark. Along with bull sharks and tiger sharks, great white sharks patrol the waters off Australia's coasts, looking for a tasty meal.
Likewise, saltwater crocodiles inhabit the coastal waters, but also enjoy the many rivers of Australia. The largest living reptile on Earth, the saltwater crocodile can grow to be 25 feet long and weigh as much as 4,000 pounds. It will eat just about anything that moves, since it also has the most powerful bite of any creature on Earth — 10 times greater than that of the great white shark.
Don't let these many fearsome creatures deter you from visiting Australia, if you get the chance. They're easy to avoid, for the most part, and they're not even the most deadly creature you're likely to encounter. Statistics show that the common honey bee is responsible for more deaths each year than all these other creatures combined!