Australia is unbeaten when it comes to deadly animals. No country hosts more creatures that can kill you – even if they are a fraction of your size. So all those spiders, snakes, jellyfish, scorpions, sharks and crocodiles really freaked me out – especially when they are poisonous or simply want to eat you. I might have to add that we’re from Germany – and there is literally no animal that can kill you. If I remember it right there was just recently an incident with a bore attacking a person and entire Germany completely freaked out because they were so scared of the new threat. So much about how Germans handle scary animals. And, unfortunately, I am no exception in this.
Nature is usually pretty smart with what creatures it keeps alive on earth – well, some exceptions of course. But I really ask myself what nature thought inventing tiny animals with an amount of poison that can kill 100 people at once. Just doesn’t make sense – a snake cannot eat 100 people, it probably cannot even eat one.
So, we started our world trip in Australia – and I was really scared. As well, my loving husband didn’t allow for a grace period as we pretty much drove straight up from Sydney to Cape York, one of the last wilderness areas in the world and apparently also the preferred home for crocodiles. By the way, a great and unforgettable experience, despite the animals (check out the blog post on ” A trip up to Cape York via the Old Telegraph Track ” if you are interested in a 4WD adventure).
Even if it sounds paranoid, I just couldn’t imagine that nothing will happen with all those dangerous animals around. Especially as they are small and hide freaking everywhere and love to crawl into cloths – how can I avoid them if I don’t see them? Or even worse – if they actually like to hunt you as crocodiles and sharks do.
But despite my tendency to paranoia – I was also aware that there are 24 million people living in Australia. And they didn’t seem to be anyhow unhappy – if anything, they are the most relaxed people on earth. So, after all it can’t be that bad. Below you find my tips to fight your fear of deadly Australian animals.
1. Go straight to the supermarket and get a Fast Knockdown spay
Fast Knockdown spays are sold everywhere in Australia – if you encounter a spider that scares the shit out of you, just spray it. It’s not a nice thing to do but a big help if you find spiders sitting in your tent and you don’t know how to get them out.
2. Don’t listen to the spider-snake-crocodile-stories of the locals
Australians love to tell crazy stories about their deadly animals – and most of the time they are completely over the top, contain 90% exaggeration and 10% the truth. Especially when they see you cowed sinking down in you chair they feel even more encouraged.
3. Shake out your cloths & shoes before wearing them
Spiders love to hide in your cloths, scorpions have naps in your shoes. So if you leave them somewhere outside, never forget to shake them out before putting them on. Spiders and scorpions only bite when they are in distress.
4. Be loud when you walk through the bush
With the exception of Australian saltwater crocodiles – none of the creatures actually wants to harm you. They are probably more scared than you are and just want to be let alone. So when you walk the bush be noisy to give them the chance to go away.
5. Stay away from the shore in crocodile-inhabited areas
I wasn’t aware of that before I came to Australia, but their saltwater crocodiles seem to be one of the most aggressive in the world. They enjoy hunting and don’t care if you’re a human or anything else. It is even said that they learn your routines – so if you go jogging everyday along the beach shore they remember that and await you there. Luckily, they are lazy as fuck – so they won’t come out far of the water. Stay away from the shore and you’ll be fine. Remember that in Australia saltwater crocodiles also might be found in fresh water.
6. Read the statistics
In my imagination people die all the time from spider and snake bites, get eaten by crocodiles and sharks or killed by the endless tentacles of jellyfish. Not true! Google the statistics and you will find that almost nothing happens, number of serious injuries are vanishing small. More people die from horse riding than of any of the deadly creatures. By the way, the biggest threat I found in the statistics are the strong currents in Australia – so be aware of that when you hit the surf!
7. Keep in mind – there are also very cute animals living in Australia