So, before Alex and I moved to Sydney, I thought I would do a little reading about this new land we were heading to. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I didn’t know much about Australia aside from things I’d see and hear on TV. Clearly some research was in order, so I started with Bill Bryson’s book In a Sunburned Country. It made me realize how much I didn’t know about this place. For example, did you know that Australia is the only continent that is also a country? Or that 80% of the plants and animals that live in Australia don’t exist anywhere else on earth?
This book made me even more excited to explore Australia….right up until I got to this passage:
“(Australia) has more things that will kill you than anywhere else. Of the world’s ten most poisonous snakes, all are Australian. Five of its creatures – the funnel web spider, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick, and stonefish – are the most lethal of their type in the world. This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip.”
Wow. Ok. So, apparently Australia is out for blood – and I even omitted the part about the sharks and crocodiles! Alex patiently assured me that people have been living in Australia quite happily for a long time, so survival is possible. Plus, being the voice of reason that he is, he reminded me of the many deadly things that live in North America:
Anyway, so far Alex has been right – I have been surviving my ‘down under’ adventure. And as much as I don’t want to have an encounter with deadly spiders or octopi, it doesn’t mean I haven’t seen these creatures up-close…from the safety of the many zoos and aquariums here in Australia. So, rather than more pictures of koalas, kangaroos, and all things cuddly, I thought I’d show you the dark and deadly side of Australian wildlife – from the relative safety of the internet. Enjoy!
So, there you have just a sampling of some of the things in Australia that will cause you to have a very bad day….or worse. But hey, before you cancel your plans to come visit, remember that odds are good that you won’t run into any of these guys, except maybe at the zoo. Plus, and this is a big plus – you just might run into one of these guys instead!