What are the chances of encountering a venomous animal in Australia?
Yes, Australia is an extremely scary place, isn’t it, how can you possibly expect to survive? Well, so far I have and I’ve been here since 2007! Not bad eh?
Seriously, I know we’ve got snakes, spiders, sharks, crocodiles, killer jellyfish and a whole host of other venomous critters, but look on the bright side. At least we don’t get lions, tigers, elephants, grizzly bears or hippopotamus.
Now let’s really get serious. Fear of Australia’s creatures shouldn’t even be a consideration. Let’s look at the facts.
- Snakes: With 41 recorded deaths between 1980 and 2009, snake deaths in Australia average out at less than two per year.
- Spiders: Nobody in Australia has died from a spider bite since 1979 after the successful introduction of antivenom for all native species.
- Sharks*: Accounted for 25 deaths between 2000 and (March) 2012 in Australia, about 2 a year.
- Crocodiles: Historically, crocodiles account for less than one death per year here in Australia, although that is increasing slightly as the crocodile population rises following the ban on crocodile hunting in 1971.
- Blue Ringed Octopus: Just 3 recorded deaths in the last century.
- Stonefish: One unconfirmed death by stonefish in 1915.
- Cone Snails: I could find no recorded deaths from cone snails in Australia whatsoever.
- Killer Jellyfish: Jellyfish account for (at time of writing) 66 deaths since records began in 1883. The box jellyfish was responsible for 64 deaths, and the Irukandji the other two. It sounds a lot, but still less than one death per year, more like just half a death per year.
* Updated 5.4.12. with latest shark death figures.
There, I think I’ve covered them all. Equalising it out, Australia’s dangerous creatures kill about five people a year.
If I’ve missed anything out, got anything wrong, or if anyone has an update on these figures, please do comment below.
Australia’s worst killers!
- Here in Australia, about 20 people a year die from horse riding accidents.
- Around 10 people per year in Australia die from European Honey Bee stings after going into anaphylactic shock.
- And around 300 people a year drown.
Why did this come up
Traveling to Australia soon
Other ‘related’ searches
“What is the deadliest place to live on the planet?”
“What is the worlds most venomous animal?”
“Where is the largest concentration of venom in the world?”
“What is the most dangerous animal to encounter in Australia?”