Australia functions as one of the planet’s most beautiful tourist destinations, and millions of eager travelers make their way to the world’s smallest continent to enjoy their infamous beaches and their famed Outback. Despite being the world’s smallest continent, it also functions as the 6th largest country in the world, and Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are on the bucket lists of those looking to see the world. Outside of their largest cities, Australia is also home to some of the best surf spots in the world.
But, despite being known for its surfing, Great Barrier Reef, and Outback, Australia is world-renowned for being home to some of the most dangerous predators on the planet, and those looking to visit the country should be warned that nearly everything there is on a warpath for human flesh. That was a bit dramatic, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Their waters are full of sharks and jellyfish, and their land is ripe with poisonous snakes and insects. Though they may be beautiful to look at while watching a documentary in the comforts of your home, these creatures are capable of killing anyone foolish enough to get near them. They serve as a warning to those in the area that the pecking order of nature expands far broader than they realize.
Some of the entries on this list can weigh a few thousand pounds, some are the size of a coin, and some are so beautiful that they are used for jewelry. We made sure to include a variety of deadly animals, we want you to truly understand that danger lurks around every corner in Australia.
15. Box Jellyfish
This beautiful creature may be a wonder to observe, but it serves as one of the deadliest creatures not only in Australia, but in the entire world. This creature can be found all around in numerous locations including: California, Japan, and South Africa. While varying in size from one to the next, some of the larger box jellyfish can weigh around 4 pounds, which is a terrifying thought. Once stung, the victim of the box jellyfish is exposed to some of the most poisonous venom on the planet, and if the wound isn’t quickly treated, death can lurk right around the corner. Instead of floating around the ocean like other species of jellyfish, the box jellyfish is adept at swimming to attack its victims.
In 2015, a tourist from Germany died after being struck by a box jellyfish while vacationing in Thailand. According to an article by Daily Mail, the victim’s death was the third that Thailand had experienced in less than a year and a half.
14. Bull Shark
Any list featuring dangerous animals is sure to feature several breeds of sharks, and Australia just happens to be home to several deadly types of sharks that patrol their waters. The bull shark can be found throughout the world, and its aggressive demeanor makes it one of the most feared predators in the ocean. Impressively, the bull shark is capable of surviving in fresh water. Shark attacks may be a rarity in most areas, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t happen. According to a report by The Sun, there have been 27 bull shark attacks that have resulted in death over the years.
Coupled with box jellyfish that reside in their ocean, it is hard to believe that Australia boasts some of the world’s busiest beaches. It remains a popular tourist destination for travelers around the world, and you can bet that these predators will no doubt be waiting for you.
13. Eastern Brown Snake
Heading out of the ocean and back onto land, the eastern brown snake is said to be the second-most venomous land snake in the world, meaning that you’re basically doomed wherever you may be in Australia. The gorgeous brown color that these snakes have no doubt aide them in making quick work of their prey. These deadly predators can be found in several places throughout Australia, and a Toxicon report suggests that they are responsible for 60 percent of snakebite deaths on the island, which makes them one the country’s most feared animals.
It is hard to imagine a single island housing this many creatures that are capable of ending your life, but such is the case with Australia. The Guardian reported that over 50 percent of snakebite attacks that result in death occur near the victim’s homes. This means that even in your most secure location, you still run the risk of encountering an eastern brown snake.
12. Saltwater Crocodile
Reaching over 19 feet in length and weighing somewhere in the ball park of 1000 pounds, the saltwater crocodile’s size alone makes it obvious that it is an absolute force in the animal kingdom. In fact, these gigantic predators are so large and so deadly, that they are capable of devouring a bull shark. To give you an example of how powerful these animals are, NCBI reported that saltwater crocodiles hold the record for the highest brute force of any animal in the world, meaning that when they sink their teeth into you, your chances of survival or retaining that limb lower dramatically.
The saltwater crocodile also serves as a feared predator in such places as India and Southeast Asia, meaning that these areas are forced to deal with their brutality as well. With a lifespan average of around 70 years, you can rest assured that these dangerous animals are in very little danger of becoming extinct any time soon.
11. Sydney Funnel-Web Spider
I have a massive fear of spiders, so conducting the research on this disgusting creature brought me little joy, and makes me want to avoid Australia completely. This large breed of spider is among the most venomous that the world has ever known, and serves as the most dangerous spider in Australia. Not only is it incredibly venomous, but it is also aggressive. One bite from one of these feared predators can spell the end of your life if left untreated. What makes them even more unsettling is that they have a lifespan that can last up to 20 years.
The University of Sydney reports that the fangs of this predator are insanely strong, and they like to clamp on to their victims when they bite. In fact, they can also rattle off several bites, making the experience immensely painful and potentially lethal. For those unfortunate enough to come into contact with one of these, their life is in imminent danger.
10. Blue-Ringed Octopus
Now that you have seen some of the deadliest land creatures in Australia, let’s head back into the water to learn about the blue-ringed octopus, one of the world’s deadliest and most poisonous creatures. The blue rings that helped give this creature its name are bright and beautiful, but don’t be distracted from the fact that this species of octopus are straight up killers. As of now, there is no anti-venom to treat a wound from a blue-ringed octopus attack. This means that coming across one of these beautiful creatures in the wild puts a person in more danger than they realize.
There are videos available on the Internet that show how this type of octopus uses its beautiful blue rings to warn off predators. I would highly recommend watching this video, because seeing the blue-ringed octopus in action is breathtaking. The way that this creature is able to flash its warning colors can stop most predator’s dead in their tracks.
9. The Inland Taipan
If the eastern brown snake didn’t pump enough fear into you, then allow us to introduce you to the world’s most venomous snake: the inland taipan. Studies that have been conducted on the inland taipan have shown that their venom is lethal enough to kill 100 grown men. Their color shift throughout the year to help them deal with differing weather and climates and their varying colors are all gorgeous. As feared as they are, the inland taipan is a very beautiful predator. The Australia Zoo also reports that the inland taipan feed on small mammals near its primary home.
Paired with the eastern brown snake, Australia is home to what might be the most venomous snake population in the world. These two types of snakes can strike fear into the hearts of any man. It seems that no matter where you are in Australia, you run the risk of running into the face of death.
8. Great White Shark
Perhaps the best-known and most feared predator in the ocean, the great white shark has long since been a staple of pop culture since the release of the film Jaws. With a top swimming speed of 25 miles, the combination of size and speed possessed by the great white shark make it one of the ocean’s most powerful creatures. These 5000-pound giants have a variety of creatures that they prey on, and even the birds above the surface aren’t safe from the ferocious attacks. Outside of Orcas, the great white shark has no known predators in the ocean, planting it firmly atop the food chain.
According to The Sun, there have been 80 fatal great white shark attacks over the years, making them far deadlier than the bull shark that was featured earlier on our list. These two predators combine to make the ocean that surrounds Australia a nightmare for those who choose to enter it.
Would you be surprised to learn that the stonefish is one of the world’s most poisonous fish? Of course not. It seems like every creature that draws breath in Australia is either poisonous or dangerous, making it one of the few places on the planet that provides its visitors an ability to die by various bites and stings virtually anywhere they are. Unlike most of the other entries on this list, the stonefish is about as ugly as a fish can get, making it hard on the eyes and detrimental to your health.
Despite their poisonous nature and reputation for being dangerous, many people eat stonefish. Not only can it be cooked and served, but it can also be served raw and included in a sushi roll. I’m not normally one to shy away from trying new foods, but I will go ahead and let the taste of a stonefish remain a mystery.
6. Western Honey Bee
Despite being low on the food chain, the western honey bee is a deadly creature that can do some serious damage to those unlucky souls who are unfortunate enough to be stung by them. Though they have a number of predators that they must watch out for, these bees a dangerous enough to keep the human population on notice. According to Australian Geogrpahic, these bees statistically kill more people each year in Australia than sharks do. The western honey bee is among the most common species on the planet, and they have a pretty short lifespan. Bees are instrumental to the environment, and despite their potency and ability to kill people, it is necessary for them to continue doing what they do.
Sure, seeing sharks, spiders, and jellyfish on this list may not come as a surprise, but seeing a species of bee is quite shocking. These little devils are a necessary evil throughout Australia, and their danger to human life doesn’t outweigh their importance to the environment.
5. Irukandji Jellyfsh
Acting as the smallest and deadliest jellyfish on the planet, the Irukandji is one of the scariest creatures that lurks in the ocean. Their tiny size makes them incredibly hard to find, and once stung, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention. Studies have shown that their sting is even deadlier than a bite from a cobra. While the Irukandji is primarily found in Northern Australia, the creature is slowly making its way south, no doubt pumping fear into those who enjoy the water.
After being stung, the Irukandji provide people with a slew of terrible symptoms that are incredibly difficult to deal with. It is referred to as Irukandji syndrome, and the effects of it can last for weeks at a time. Imagine dealing with a creature that you can’t see and whose sting can provide you with ailments that last several weeks. It is yet another reason why I have no desire to go swimming in Australia.
4. Common Death Adder
The common death adder is the final snake that made our list, and to no one’s surprise, it is incredibly venomous and dangerous to those who come into contact with it. According to the Australia Museum, the common death adder has a bite that proved fatal to 60 percent of its victims until the development and implementation of an anti-venom. This reptile is one of the most recognizable snakes in Australia, and their red, brown, and black colors are gorgeous to look at. They have exceptionally large fangs, and they possess an uncanny ability to strike their victims quickly.
The common death adder may not be as poisonous as the inland taipan or the eastern brown snake, but it packs enough of a punch to kill their victims. The snakes that inhabit Australia have the ability to take out an adult male, and the rodents that they feast on regularly stand very little chance of surviving an encounter.
3. Cone Snails
If the inclusion of bees on this list wasn’t odd enough, prepare yourself to learn a little bit about a poisonous snail that lurks in the ocean. These snails live in beautiful shells, and while they are pleasing to the eye, these creatures are very deadly. ABC has reported that the cone snail uses a harpoon to capture fish swimming nearby for food. This skilled hunter is a carnivore, and smaller fish that swim near these snails are in danger of being harpooned and eaten. The New Scientist reports that the harpoon utilized by the cone snail is actually made of venom-filled teeth. These teeth can drive through the skin of fish, aiding the snail in corralling a meal.
The shells that these snails live in can be turned into jewelry, but the locals who make them know of the true danger that lives within them. These snails can take out human and fish alike, making them a creature to be feared.
2. Redback Spider
For those of you looking to visit the beautiful city of Sydney, you might want to keep your eye out for these poisonous spiders. The redback spider may look pretty, but rest assured that this creature will waste little time injecting you with poison that can put you in the ground. Sure, an anti-venom has been available since the 1950s, but that doesn’t mean that you should take this creature lightly. The female redback spider has a body that is only about 1 cm, but that doesn’t make them any less deadly. Tarantulas have much larger bodies and legs, but the redback spider is just as feared in Australia.
The redback spider just serves as a reminder that Australia, while beautiful, is full of insects and animals that are capable of killing a human. If you include the funnel-web spider, keeping an eye out for spiders while in Australia could prove imperative to escape the island alive.
1. Tiger Shark
The tiger shark’s wide array of food sources might be the most diverse in the shark community. Shark Info reports that these animals can even digest man-made objects, and the tiger shark is referred to as a garbage eater. These 1400-pound monsters are masters of stealth, and their ability to blend into their environment make their prey more susceptible to being eaten. National Geographic reported that there are several parts of the tiger shark that are frequently harvested, including their liver which is full of vitamin A.
The tiger shark may not be as feared as the great white shark or the bull shark, but they are not a creature that should be taken lightly. They are capable of taking a human life, though they are more inclined to leave their human victim after administering a bite. Nevertheless, this garbage eater patrols the waters of Australia, making them a dangerous place to be.