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19 Reasons To Continue Avoiding The World's Most Dangerous Country...Australia

NOVEMBER 7, 2015  —  By Mike Cahill  
Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill

Mike is ViralNova's resident Editor of the Weird. If it makes you say "OMG! That's terrible!!!" then Mike probably wrote it. Despite the subject of his articles Mike is surprisingly well adjusted. When he's not writing, he's making music, performing, and producing podcasts.

Australia is a country of wonder, mystery, and horror. For those of us who aren't from Australia, it's easy to be completely terrified of a place that's so full of giant spiders. The massive snakes aren't doing it any favors, either.

But bugs and serpents aren't the only things that should keep you from visiting Oz. For a few more doses of terror, check these out.

1. Australia is a flippin' huge country.

Most maps don't do justice to the sheer size of Australia. There are some areas in the Outback where outer space is actually closer than the nearest town.

2. Don't believe me? Just look at the size of this region.

It's not much to look at on the map, but at 613,037 square miles, the electoral district of Durack is bigger than France, Germany, and Spain combined. You know, just in case you were having trouble thinking about how massive this place is.

3. Tree lobsters exist.

These large stick insects were thought to be extinct, but were recently rediscovered on a tiny island off the coast of Australia. Unlike regular stick bugs, these things are massive, and they've more than earned their nickname.

4. Their musical tastes are horrific.

Back in 1984, Weird Al's parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" hit the top of the charts Down Under. The original song only reached number three. Just let that sink in.

5. They once had a prime minister who got lost at sea.

In 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt vanished while he was swimming in the ocean. Despite an intense search, his body was never found. But here's the weirdest part. To honor the late prime minister, the government named a pool after him.

6. There are rabbits...so many rabbits.

Rabbits were first introduced to Australia in the late 1800s. A pack of 24 that was released in 1859 managed to grow to more than 10 billion in just 70 years. That's too much.

7. Some Australian dogs have insane powers.

During World War II, a dog named Gunner used his insane hearing abilities to warn soldiers of incoming Japanese fighter planes...when they were still 20 minutes away.

8. They let criminals -- like Moondyne Joe -- run free.

Moondyne Joe was such a great escape artist that officials built a custom jail cell to prevent him from escaping after his arrest. When they built it, the governor told Joe that if he still managed to escape, he would be pardoned. Sure enough, Joe escaped later that year. The governor kept his word.

9. Feral Australian pigs like to get wasted.

Back in 2013, a feral pig stole 18 beers from some campers, got drunk, and then proceeded to start a fight with a cow.

10. Highway 1 seems to go on forever.

Highway 1 stretches 9,000 miles across Australia. If you drove 10 hours a day at 60 miles per hour, it would still take you two weeks to make it all the way across the country.

11. There are way too many honey bees hanging around.

Honey bees might seem pretty harmless, but because of allergic reactions, they actually cause more deaths per year in Australia than shark attacks. Makes you think, doesn't it?

12. Some Australian cattle ranches are larger than entire countries.

Let's just continue to drive home this point: Australia is massive. The country's largest cattle ranch is bigger than Israel.

13. They decided to fine NASA after Skylab crashed.

They decided to fine NASA after Skylab crashed.

Getty Images

When the Skylab Space Station crashed to Earth in 1979, it landed near Esperance, Australia. In response, the town issued NASA a $400 littering fine, which the agency has yet to pay.

14. Rum used to be the law of the land.

Australians used to be crazy about rum. In fact, rum used to be the main currency in colonial Australia, and only army officers had access to it. When the governor tried to reform this system, he was overthrown in the only coup in Australian history.

15. The most dangerous predator isn't even a snake or a spider.

Far from being cute and cuddly, the magpie is actually Australia's deadliest predator. They love snacking on unborn birds that are resting innocently in their nests. At least one person a year in Australia loses an eye to an angry magpie.

16. You know this was coming: giant spiders.

We know that Australia is infested with giant, venomous spiders. However, the country has had exactly zero spider-bite related deaths since 1979, so that's good.

17. The box jellyfish can kill you in no time flat.

This lovely creature lives just off the coast of Australia. It also just so happens to be one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. One sting can kill you in a matter of minutes.

18. Even the trees are out to get you.

The so-called Gympie-Gympie stinging tree will make your life miserable if you come into contact with it. One unfortunate soul described the pain of its sting like this: "It's like being burnt with hot acid and getting electrocuted at the same time." Oh, and the pain can last for months.

19. Meteorologists name intense storms after politicians that they hate.

Originally, the cyclone storms that visited Australia were named after politicians that meteorologists didn't like. This policy, which has regretfully been changed, allowed them to say demeaning things about politicians without actually talking about them directly.

(via BuzzFeed)

I can certainly get down with that storm-naming policy. It's a shame they changed it. Maybe we should bring it back here in the United States. I can certainly live without the tree lobsters, though. Aussies can keep those.