Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ways You Can Die in Australia

DavidWe have here today a special treat, a guest post by David our resident marine biologist. After reading one of his favorite books, Dangerous Animals and watching his DVD Deadly Down Under he put together this guide for those of you who think Australia is all about cute little hoppy kangaroos and fuzzy-cuddly koalas.

May I present: things in Australia that can kill you. He wrote out the list then dictated the details to me and though I can't guarantee the authenticity of the facts it'll at least give you pause the next time you think about that lovely Australian vacation you've been dreaming of.


By David.

Box Jellyfish1. Box Jellyfish. It can kill you with its fifteen-inch long stinging tentacles. They can kill you in less than a minute, in my movie it showed this lady walking in the water and she ran into a box jellyfish and she started screaming but when the people pulled her out she was already almost dead. Don't touch them.

Blue-ringed Octopus2. Blue-ringed Octopus. Its bite can paralyze its prey--in a hour, probably? It's NOT the most toxic poison in the world because they say that about all sorts of things but its one of them.

3. Black Rat. The most common rat is the brown rat but that one isn't as deadly as the black rat. The black rat has bacteria in its mouth so when it bites you get all sorts of germs on you and you die. You can die from them if the doctor hasn't done the right thing to you.

Bulldog Ant4. Bulldog Ant. Ten stings by the bulldog ant can kill a human it is one of the most deadliest insects in the world. It has long pincers that can pinch you bad and probably you can get stitches from it. Let's go to the next one because I like this one.

Funnelweb Spider5. Funnel Web Spider. One drop of the funnel-web spider's venom can kill a human. It is the most deadliest spider in the world. To trap its prey it has a big sticky web over three branches on a tree and a hole in the middle where the spider is hidden. When the insect comes down on the tree branch the funnel web spider scurries out and grabs its prey and sinks its fangs into it. By then the insect would be dead. It pulls it into its burrow for it to feed. And that's all.

6. Dingoes. They travel in packs, they eat meat, they're like all other wild dogs. They can pretty much attack you and rip you apart--kind of violent isn't it? Some animals are that way.

7. Black Widow Spider. The black widow was named that because it was black and because it eats its husband which pretty much makes her a widow which is why she's called the black widow. The black widow is the second deadliest spider next to the funnelweb. It is found all over the world. Except Alaska. Its bite is deadly to humans and can kill them in about a day. A lot of people are scared of spiders. I'm not but they are kind of shocking when they just appear out of nowhere.

Estuarine Crocodile8. Estuarine Crocodile. The estuarine crocodile is the fourth largest crocodile in the world. It has usually sixty teeth. It is like all other crocodiles because lies awake for its prey, feeds on meat and can harm humans. It is smaller than the Indo-Pacific [yes, he really used that word] crocodile and the saltwater crocodile. It is the length of--I don't know--probably thirty feet long. Salt water crocodiles are like sixty feet long. And that's all I want to say about that.

9. Black-headed Sea Snake. This is the most venomous snake according to my book. It is named the black-headed sea snake for its black head. It is a sea snake for its paddle-like tail which is flattened and can swim well. It is usually caught in fish nets when catching fish and gets threatened and bites the sailors. They will die in an hour. And that's all I guess.

10. Tapin. It's a snake. Its bite can kill 1,200 rats. It is very dangerous to humans. It is called the tapin for its s-like body. When its head is standing up it is shaped like an s. I don't know why but that's what it says in my book.

11. Great white shark. This is an endangered predator and the most dangerous shark thing in the sea. They're white underneath and grayish on top. Great white sharks eat mostly anything but they don't like to eat people because they're fattening.

And that's all.

Maybe Australia isn't as dangerous as he thought because he could only come up with eleven ways to die. Consider yourself lucky.

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61 comments:

Lori said...

Your list gave me the willies...I hate creepy, crawly things...burrrrr! Happy TT:)

Adelle said...

Bravo! Great list. I still want to go to Australia though lol Happy T13!

mom huebert said...

Scary! But I still want to visit Australia some day...

Nicholas said...

Well, there are all sorts of ways to die everywhere, so this won't put me off visiting Australia, if I ever get the chance. Very interesting TT though! well done.

Winter said...

That is a cool pic of the octopus. I'd still visit Australia if I could. I'd just stay out of the water and the bush. LOL Happy TT!

Robin said...

Animals big enough to see and avoid don't scare me all that much, but those little teeny bugs that can just sneak right up on you??? Aaaahhh!!!

Great list David.

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

I used to want to visit Australia. Used to.

Linds said...

So this is why people move to New Zealand, which does not have a single predatory/dangerous species!I was born and raised in South Africa, and here in the UK people laughed when I said that I didn't want to be eaten, when we were discussing death in a church meeting. Hmmm. I know what I am talking about!

Jeana said...

I guess he'll have to go with the old fall backs: getting hit by a bus and choking on a chicken bone.

Another fetching title.

The Source said...

Eeeww. All those bugs and snakes and reptiles! I think I'd rather be bitten by a teeny spider than a grizzly, though! Terrific post, David! You did a great job.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Ha ha! Nice job David! Uncle Curtis and I learned a lot! We loved it!

Cheerio said...

Gosh! Your list gave me the scare. Jellyfish I hate and spiders too. I wouldn't want to encounter them deadly or not.

grace said...

Nice work, David! Maybe we should add, sting rays?

That ant looks really deadly to me!

luvmy4sons said...

Not surpised at all by this list. I have always heard that Australia-especially Australian waters is dangerous. But I wonder if the average person is even in places where they are exposed to any of these dagnerous things. I heard a person from California say to me on a plane once..."Don't you have TORNADOES in Ohio?" I laughed. We do. But in 45 years I have never seen one up close, and never been touched by one. Sure others have...then I said, "Don't you have earthquakes..." and she laughed!

Edi said...

Thanks for the list. I'm gonna share it w/my kids b/c we like reading about things that scare us in the animal/insect kingdom.

I had never heard of a poisonous ant before!

Chris said...

David shouldn't work for the Australian tourism industry but that was a great and well thought out list. Maybe Stephen King could use his services.

Anonymous said...

That is a pretty darn extensive list there! Good Job!

Michael Chrichton (sp?) did an homage to the blue circle octopus in his book "State of Fear".

Mercy's Maid said...

You must be one proud mama!

It's good to know that I can run away to Alaska to get away from my Black Widow issues. I found two at my house just last week. I nearly peed my pants (I'm terribly afraid of spiders).

Darla said...

Well, there are always car accidents and drowning, if you want to get up to 13.

Scary, yet fascinating creatures. That octopus is beautiful!

My sister-in-law doesn't want to visit our house in Texas because she saw a documentary on brown recluse spiders. And yet she went hiking in Turkey over spring break. *sigh* This list would definitely put her off ever visiting Australia!

Babystepper said...

Yup. You can tell David his list gave me the heeby-jeebies.

Grandmother Wren said...

Your son is why I loved teaching!
Super, super list.
Be very proud, both of you!

Janet said...

But that octopus is so pretty! Great list. I'm with Mom Huebert - I still want to visit!

Heather said...

There is at least one drawback to every place I suppose. I'd still take my chances I think. But the spiders really gross me out.

lifemoreabundant said...

I'm half Australian and my Canadian friends would say about Australia "Oh there are so many snakes and spiders and so many poisonous ways to die there, I could never live there."

My Australian relatives would say about Canada, "Oh there are bears and wolves and blizzards and so many horrible ways to die. I could never live there."

I guess it's all what you're used to.

The Estrogen Files said...

My almost 4 yr old is extremely impressed by the terrific pictures!

We have those nasty funnel spiders here in Idaho - Hobos. They stink...

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Kellen will be impressed. good stuff!

Cocoa said...

Yikes! What a way to start my day. I have been stung by jelly fish before. Thank goodness it wasn't the box jellyfish! That blue-ringed octopus sure is pretty to look at.

Shannon said...

Great, now I know what to look out for, and be terrified of, while vacationing in OZ. Would't stop me if the opportunity presented itself though!

Erin said...

Thanks, David! What great information! This was a really fun and interesting post.

My favorite part? "Some animals are that way." So serious and all-knowing. :)

Cecily R said...

Okay, David is totally cool and those creatures are freaky scary. David is still totally cool.

Scribbit said...

And you all know that I'm still going to Australia some day, right? I thought his list was funny and NOT to be taken too seriously :)

The sixty foot crocodile was what got me. Hard to hide in a swamp when you're sixty feet long.

Gretchen said...

The picture of that spider made me feel slightly faint. I've always wanted to go to Australia, but I don't want to come home in a coffin.

Richelle said...

Wow, lots to watch out for if I ever go down under. I love the commentary!

planetnomad said...

That's it--I'm going to New Zealand instead.

Heffalump said...

What about riding the leader of the Brumbies like in the Man from Snowy River? That could kill you! Or getting kicked in the head by a kangaroo?
Maybe he should watch some old episodes of the Crocodile Hunter, I am sure that would give him even more ideas...

Tara said...

For such a scary list I sure laughed a lot! But I may rethink my dream of visiting the land down under! I am absolutely terrified of everything on that list!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

That is it! I am tossing out all my boring old books on Australia and am now turning to David for all my facts (they are so much more entertaining). I am eagerly awaiting future installments to my new library.

This is absolutely priceless.

Denise Patrick said...

OK, that's it. I just scratched Australia off my list of "places I want to see before I die" or maybe I ought to just make it the last place on the list! Give your son a high-five for his interesting knowledge.

Happy TT!

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Now you will finally all have an understanding of how hazardous it is to live in Australia. Just going to the supermarket is like taking your life into your own hands as you might not come back alive.

Brown snakes were left off the list and they're as common as muck over here, and number 13 could be sting ray - like the one that killed Steve Irwin.

MommyTime said...

My favorite parts are: "They can pretty much attack you and rip you apart--kind of violent isn't it? Some animals are that way." and the estimate of 60 foot crocodiles, and the notion that Great Whites don't like to eat people "because they are fattening." I laughed out loud.

But what really got me is that my son (who is four) says "and that's all" at multiple points in dictating stories to me too -- always after he's finished a particularly detailed description of something. Funny huh?

I'm stopping now. That's all.

crazy working mom said...

Aaaaack! I guess I'll stay in the states although I do love to hear an Aussie talk. *sigh*

cheeky said...

Well we do have many of the most deadliest here, especially when it comes to snakes. I think out the 10deadliest snakes, Australia is home to 9. Not the lovliest of thoughts.
What an imagination. I got a good chuckle out of the croc's length. I love how it was written in his words. Great!
Now, perhaps, a follow-up list highlighting the beauty of Australia is in order. :), as we don't want to scare everyone off. Not expecting our guest marine biologist to tackle that one however. I mean, come on, that would be far too boring and SAFE without all that deadly venom talk and poison and teeth and scariness.

Amber M. said...

You already know how I feel about sharks. But I was scared before I hit number 11...GREAT list, David!

Bethany said...

Oy....but I still want to visit Australia!!! :D Happy TT :)

page2 said...

Thanks for the list, David. I'll be sure to watch out for those guys if I ever go to Australia, but now I might be too scared to go.

Chief Family Officer said...

Ha! Your son is too funny. Is his dream to grow up to be like Steve Irwin or Jack Hanna?

Tamara said...

This certainly makes me think twice about going to Australia (thank goodness that it wasn't on the top of my must travel to list).

I left you an Excellent blog award on my blog. I so enjoy reading whatever you have to say. I definitely think that you are excellent!

Amber (Bringing Good Home) said...

That's precious. Love it.

I tell you, the fact that there are no black widows in Alaska is almost a convincing sales pitch for moving there.

Almost.

I'd be curious to see what kind of list he could come up with for Texas. We have black widows, all manner of snakes, coyotes and mountains lions and other forms of wild cats and dogs... I'm sure there's a ton more than I care to think about! :P

Orhan Kahn said...

And there isn't any other country in the world I'd rather live, even if it will eventually be the cause of my demise ;)

Terri said...

Very interesting! That blue-ringed octopus figured very prominently into the plot of Michael Crichton's book State of Fear. I have to confess as I read the book, I wasn't sure if there really was such an octopus. Now I know.

Melissa Markham said...

YIKES! I have always wanted to visit Australia. If I get the opportunity, I'll be sure to reread this post so I will know what to stay away from!

Lis Garrett said...

Jacob has a picture dictionary of nothing but deadly animals that he sleeps with under his head most nights. I think he and David would get along quite well!

I'll have to look for that DVD.

Beck said...

Some animals are that way.
HAHAHAHAHA.

EnnaVic said...

Great list David.

New Zealand does actually have one native species that is poisonous - a spider called the katipo. (pronounced cat-ee-poe (as in Edgar Allan

Here is a poem about them that I learnt as a child.

"Gentleman meet the Katipo,
So elegant in form and feature.
He only bites in self defence
so don't be frightened he won't eat ya!

What makes him mad is being called New Zealand's only poisonous creature."

Whim Wham (I think)

Whim Wham was in fact one of our greatest poets Allan Curnow - who had one of his 'more serious' poems read at Sir Ed. Hillary's laying up of his Garter Banner at Windsor Castle this week.

Anyway - as well as our own very shy katipo we do have Australian redbacks in some areas which have slipped in and are closely related to katipo.

And a katipo bite is very unlikely to kill you in any case.

Yep - NZ is a great place to live :)

cmwheeler said...

Great post - I definitely enjoyed it - so much so that I blogged about ya. http://ojoyofmylife.blogspot.com/2008/04/seven-more-things.html. Cheers, mate!

Heather said...

Not as excited to visit Australia as I once was. :o)

Cagey said...

I love creepy crawlies and therefore, I LOVE this list. Can you thank David for me? My son is learning about animals now and I can use these facts. :-) (We just bought a new animal encyclopedia today, so this info will come in handy)

P.S. I like that you kept it in David's vernacular. hee hee

CC said...

Y'aaaaack! One day I WILL go to Australia and I'll wear a teeth/venom/claw proof suit!

wendyjoyw said...

I've lived in teh Australian bush all my life & haven't had to go out with a shotgun to walk up the creek as we did on Admiralty Island when we were on holidays there, because of the bears during the salmon run. We loved Alaska & would happily return, despite the bears, that we didn't see. I would have to agree with the Austalian/Canadian that it is all what you are used to

Damselfly said...

Oh my goodness! I guess you're safe then from falling boulders, giant hail storms or chronic hiccups. Thanks, David!

BTW, that octopus looks beautiful!

nellbe said...

I have just come across this post... hmmm.. in all my years living here in Australia I have never come across any of those things.

I think a follow up list of all the great things to do in Australia is in order... or maybe I should do one!