scary Australian animals - dingo

Australia is known for having a large number of deadly animals from snakes, spiders and sharks to crocodiles.

We all know about these, our friends constantly remind us of how many deadly creatures inhabit Australia when we first mention that we're going there to visit - jealousy probably because very few people actually die as a direct result from an encounter with an Aussie creature.

This list is not about the top five deadliest animals in Australia, this one is a list of the scariest animals in Australia.

If I was to write this list accurately about what scares me the most, then it'd probably be a list of five spiders, because I absolutely despise them, but I've limited spiders in this list to just one particularly ugly, hairy eight legged fiend

Top 5 Scary Australian Animals
Irukandji jellyfish

This one is scary because it's tiny, so tiny that it's virtually impossible to detect it in the water. A sting by this particular jellyfish is more annoying than painful, giving a feeling a bit like prickly heat. More serious symptoms tend to appear a bit later and by then it may be too late! (Symptoms - Minor stinging feeling to begin, then later symptoms include lower back pain, and severe leg, arm, abdominal and chest pain. Following these symptoms are nausea and vomiting, headaches as well as anxiety and agitation.)

Where found - in northern Australian waters
Average deaths per year - actually there are only 3 deaths in the last 100yrs worldwide that can be directly attributed to irukandji syndrome
How to avoid death - don't swim in northern australian waters during jellyfish season!

scary australian animal irukandji
Huntsman Spider

If you have a fear of spiders you won't like this one (and you probably won't like the film arachnophobia either so just don't watch it!). The huntsman spider is completely harmless, it's not deadly like the redback or Sydneys very own funnel-web spider, it's just relatively big, hairy and moves far too fast for an eight legged creature, and it might still bite if you annoy it, especially if it's a female protecting her soon to be hatched baby huntsmen, ewww.

Where found - bedroom walls all over Australia
Average Deaths per year - zilch
How to avoid death - don't eat one because it's quite big and you might choke on it, otherwise death is unlikely.

scary australian animals huntsman spider
Drop Bears

A very mysterious animal that not many claim to have actually seen in real life but the stories about them are terrifying. Drop Bears are related to the Koala (please don't call them Koala Bears to Aussies as they get quite upset by it - "it's not a bear, it's not a bear") but are much more vicious and a fair bit bigger than a Koala, they kill their prey by dropping from trees then tearing their poor victims to shreds!

Don't believe me? Here's what one website has to say about them

"Drop Bears vary from 3 to 5 feet in hight, but are extremely strong. They are covered in a dense fur, which can range from almost black to the Alpine Drop Bear's snowy white coat. They have broad shoulders and razor sharp claws on all four limbs. They are able to walk for short distances on two legs, but are much faster on all four, being capable of bursts of speed approaching 60 km/h at full gallop. Their heads are similar to those of koalas, but with enlarged canine teeth, not unlike those of bears or other carnivorous animals. There are no reported photographs of them, and only a select and very lucky few have laid eyes on them and lived to tell the tale."

Where found - trees all over Australia
Average Deaths per year - difficult to quantify as there seems to be some sort of government cover up about their existence
How to avoid death - don't walk under a tree

scary australian animals drop bear
Dingoes

They aren't just cuddly dogs, dingoes are scary and they're scary because they look too much like mans best friend, and even more scary if you're out camping in the outback with your baby (just ask Meryl Streep).

Where found - in the outback and Fraser Island mainly, but they can be found almost anywhere in Australia
Average Deaths per year - last known death was an infant on Fraser Island in 2001
How to avoid death - don't go camping in the outback with Meryl Streep and don't feed them (on purpose or inadvertantly)

scary australian animals dingo
Cassowary

This Australian animal looks a bit like an emu but has a very distinctive hard horn-like protusion coming out of it's head, it also has a bright blue neck and a sharp claw on each foot. It might look quite beautiful and placid but Cassowaries can be aggressive and will attack humans. The attacks are more likely to hurt like buggery than actually kill you, but still be wary of the Cassowary which can suddenly appear as if by magic.

Where found - North Queensland, Daintree Rainforest
Average deaths per year - there's only 1 known death by a Cassowary and that was a boy who'd been trying to beat one to death
How to avoid death - don't try and beat one to death obviously

scary australian animal cassowary

Other scary animals in Australia include sharks, snakes, crocodiles and Tasmanian Devils!

Australia, a huge country with animals not found anywhere else in the world. This is definitely one country that is extremely interesting to visit for any wildlife enthusiast, and if you aren't that into animals you more than likely will be after seeing the huge variety in this country.

references:
http://www.reef.crc.org.au/discover/plantsanimals/pdf/StatusofKnowledgeandActionPaperSep2002.pdf
http://geocities.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassowary
thanks to couchcubicle.com, daintreebirdwatching.com, wideeyed.org, fourthcrossingwildlife.com and wikimedia.org for the images

Editors note: Are there scarier animals in Australia? Leave a comment below with your top five scary australian animals!

Explore

Get 10 nights or more to spend at any of our hostels!