Maybe it was a marketing campaign to help attract thrill-seeking adventurers, or stories made up by Australian residents to keep this beautiful land to themselves, but many people think that Australia is the place where ‘everything wants to kill you’.
There are many lists on the internet, on T.V. shows, podcasts, radio etc. that claim that most of the world’s most dangerous animals reside in Australia. If you’re comparing the toxicity of venom, it is true however, the majority of these animals are not banding together or forming an army to intentionally hurt us yet. The truth of the matter is, they’re misunderstood. Yep, I’ve said it.
Let’s start off with the top 5 animals that people usually associate with Australia – deadly spiders, venomous snakes, poisonous octopuses, deadly stinging jelly fish, crocodiles and the great white sharks. Okay that was 6; I got carried away. Can you guess how many deaths are associated with each of the animals I’ve listed above?
List of 6 deadly Australian animals that want to kill you:
Great white shark really does have an undeserved reputation. They are responsible, on average, for just one death per year, WORLDWIDE. That’s not very many deaths at all! The last fatal shark attack in Australia was 2017, and generally the people taken are either spearfishing or surfing. Swimmers are rarely attacked.
Crocodiles attacks have resulted in more deaths but most fatalities and attacks are due to people feeding the crocodiles and not heeding signs and notices about crocodiles. In the past 10 years, there were six fatalities.
Check out the map below. Yes, Australia has it’s share of croc attacks with 51 recorded, but we are far from the epi-centre. Africa anyone?! Yikes!
The blue-ringed octopus is usually brown, shy and innocuous. People tend to get poisoned because they decide to pick-up the octopus. Don’t touch these guys and you’ll be fine. There have been 2 recorded deaths from Blue ringed octopus ever! Meanwhile, motor vehicle deaths track at 100 per day in the United States.
Since 1883 there has been 69 deaths recorded linked to the box jellyfish. These are the only jellyfishes that hunt for it’s prey and can usually be found in warmer waters. Less than 70 deaths in 136 years, you’d really have to have terrible luck to suffer the wrath of this animal.
As for our terrible spiders…. did you know that it’s been 40 years since one person in Australia has died of a spider bite? The last recorded death was in 1979.
And since anti-venom has been invented, death by snake bites/venom in Australia is very rare. On average there is 1 recorded death every 2 years. We’ve written an article about snakes and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them in Australia. Read about it here: www.inspirationoutdoors.com.au/snakes-hiking-australia. Did you know that 10,000 people die from Cobra snake bites in India every year? Yet, people are more scared of snakes in Australia than they are in India.
So there you have it. Australia may be full of venomous animals, but that doesn’t make it dangerous. Australia and New Zealand have the lowest homicide of any OECD country! The truth is, Australia is one of the safest countries on earth.