Like Australia’s Death Adder, this critter has a name that lives up to its terrifyingness. (They’re also of the genus hexathelidae, which sounds like a cross between a coven of witches and a psychotropic drug). Funnelweb sounds creepy, but it’s also the name for their homes, which contain distinctive funneled holes.
When I was growing up, I was told to watch for these special webs. Funnelwebs, like many Australian creatures, actively hate humans and will not only bite you, but will bite you repeatedly. Their extremely painful bites will cause nausea, vomiting, confusion and eventually death. Luckily, an antivenom was developed that has saved every victim bitten since 1981. Unfortunately the antivenom doesn’t cure the psychological trauma that the victims face due to the fact that the spider does not detach after biting, and has to be pulled off by hand.
The lesson here: Don’t do any gardening in Australia. Just stay inside.
The Box Jellyfish
What creature in all of creation is most poisonous to humans? A snake? A spider? No, it’s this little guy.
This is the box jellyfish, found in Northern Australian, and it can kill you within minutes. Human victims stung in the ocean often die of massive heart failure before they can even reach the shore. That’s right, you’re swimming along happily, thinking about Vegemite sandwiches and how glad you are that Australia doesn’t have bears or mountain lions or big scary things like that, and then BAM! You’re dead. Another victim of the Great Southern Land’s vendetta against humanity.
Do they always kill you? No. after a long period of hideous pain, some victims survive. But you’ll probably be left with some interesting scars:
On the bright side, at least you can show them to your drinking buddies as proof that you’ve been Down Under and lived to tell the tale.
The Huge Goddamn Spider
Australia features a huge variety of these, from the common brown house spider:
…to the bird-eating spiders found in Queensland, in the north of the country. Yes, they eat birds:
Surprisingly, most of the larger spiders in Australia aren’t poisonous. Many of the most venomous ones are actually quite small. The larger ones don’t need to be poisonous; they’re scary enough already for nobody to want to touch them.
But they are poisonous to your mental health. Imagine being an Australian, living your day to day life knowing that a bastard like this could be just around the corner – on the wall of your house, under that old box in the garage you just picked up, on the windshield of your car in heavy traffic. Think walking around an inner city at night is creepy? Imagine the knowledge that a spider of this size could have built a huge invisible web across the path, and is now sitting smack in the middle of it at human face level. You won’t see it; it’s too dark. You’ll just feel the familiar sensation of spider web on your face and hair, and the knowledge that somewhere, there is probably a spider on you.
Sure, they might not kill many people, but the cumulative psychological trauma they inflict on thousands of Australians every year earns these spiders the top place on this list.
- - The Australian Brown Snake: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/49941175_a85f1f771e.jpg
- - The Cassowary: http://www.odditycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/bird2.jpg http://www.tylertornado.com/velociraptor_2.jpg
- - The Tiger Snake : http://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/amazing-animals/images/9.jpg
- - The Blue-Ringed Octopus: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_0cnXYhlBk1k/SKL3h6Vc0wI/AAAAAAAABuo/G20Mhy8U6T4/s400/Blue+ringed+octopus.jpg
- - Funnelwebs: http://www.richard-seaman.com/Insects/Vietnam/Spiders/Highlights/CatTienFunnelWebSpider.jpg http://www.virginmedia.com/images/funnelweb-431x300.jpg
- - The Box Jellyfish: http://archives.starbulletin.com/2000/10/21/news/artb.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__Qrnvh5mADc/R9Y24DDwD9I/AAAAAAAABnE/P4nnqJRj1pg/s400/box+fish+next+morning+swollen2
- - The Huge Goddamn Spider: http://challenge-services.co.uk/images/House-spider.jpg http://thepirata.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/bird_eating_spider01.jpg http://thepirata.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/bird_eating_spider01.jpg