Australia is a popular tourist attraction, commonly known for their beautiful beaches, but don’t be fooled by the facade. Australia is home to some of the most dangerous animals and poisonous insects on the planet. While it may not be enough to deter you from visiting or living there, you definitely should be aware of what you’re up against, whether it be a tiny spider or a great white shark.
Commonly found floating along the Great Barrier Reef, the sting of a box jellyfish can cause excruciating pain and sometimes fatalities. Each corner of the jellyfish has about 15 tentacles, each containing about 500,000 cnidocytes, which are explosive cells that inject venom into the victim.
Common symptoms of a box jellyfish sting include burning, prickling, and stinging pain. Then comes the throbbing pain. Sounds awful, right? That’s because it is. If the sting is really bad it’ll progress to nausea and vomiting, headaches, muscle and joint pain.
Don’t touch anything you don’t recognise as safe!
Consider sand shoes for paddling around beaches and a light Lycra stinger suit or wetsuit for snorkelling or scuba diving if you have a weak heart and are in the stinger zone north of Rockhampton (north of Brisbane and Fraser Island). Any good tour out to the Barrier Reef or the Whitsunday Islands in season will include stinger suits for swimmers/divers in the package.
Swim inside stinger nets when in the zone.
Box Jellyfish: in the Oct-May jelly season, wear a Lycra ‘stinger suit’ or wetsuit and keep your eyes peeled to avoid this deadly Mr Blobby. Usually found in deeper water off Australia Beaches so a problem mostly for snorkellers and divers.
They appear to spawn around the Barrier Reef and like warm, no-surf waters so north of Rockhampton are danger zones.
Irukandji Jellyfish: the tiny terror (peanut sized) that prefers deep water but can be swept through (anti) stinger nets by currents.
Blue-ringed octopus: small, cute and occasionally fatal, even when it’s washed up on the beach or frolicking in a rock pool. You wouldn’t be so dumb as to play with the little chap, but the kids would.
Salt water crocodiles: far more dangerous than sharks, ‘salties’ hang out where rivers meet the sea, so however hot and sticky you are be extremely cautious about swimming in rivers or in/around estuary beaches, especially if no one else is there or there are warning signs. Freshwater crocs in Australia are not a problem, and since they are eaten by salties too, if they are around then salties probably aren’t.