Australia versus USA: Snakes, Sharks and Crocodiles.

Before all that scary stuff about snakes and sharks and death and attacks in Australia and the USA, here are a couple of updates.

Summer began here in Australia yesterday and Christmas is in the air. I still can’t get used to the two of them together. As Eddie Izzard said, it’s like having custard with your fish.

Anyway, I’m off to the Brookfield Showgrounds tonight to see Santa at their annual “Bush Christmas” event. Maybe that’d make me a little more Christmassy.

But that’s enough Christmas talk for now.

That was quick!

I got a letter in the post today. Remember I got one from the Premier of Queensland the other day? This time I got one from the Honourable Chris Bowen MP. He is the current Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

On the behalf of the government and the people Australia, I am delighted to inform you that your application for Australian citizenship has been approved.”

Yay!!!

Mrs BobinOz and Elizabeth haven’t had their letters yet, I hope they make it too. Life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Australia versus USA: Snakes, Sharks and Crocs.

Of course, the USA doesn’t have crocs, they have alligators.

Update: ahem, correction, the USA does have crocodiles, see Sean’s comment below.

Australia doesn’t have Burmese pythons, but America does. Although ….. it shouldn’t.

Burmese pythons are native to Asia. But I believe they were allowed to be imported to the USA as pets. Some of them escaped, or were thrown out of their houses by their owners, and ended up in the Florida Everglades.

They loved it there! There are now thousands of them.

I only mention these two things so that I can include today’s amazing YouTube video, coming up soon. But first, for those who want to know the grisly facts about fatalities in the USA and Australia, here’s what I found.

USA.

  • Averages 12 snake deaths per year.
  • Averages 16 shark attacks on humans per year, but only one death every two years.
  • 13 alligator deaths in the last decade.

Australia.

  • Averages less than 2 snake deaths per year.
  • 25 shark deaths between 2000 and early 2012, about 2 a year.
  • Crocodiles account for slightly less than one death per year.

You can read a more comprehensive list on my page called Australia’s Killer Creatures and Death.

I don’t keep bringing you these facts to scare you, because I believe, if anything, they should comfort you.

These three creatures strike fear in many people who are thinking of moving to Australia. Yet they are only responsible for:

  • Five deaths a year, on average, between them in Australia.
  • Just under 14 deaths per year, on average, between them in the USA.

19 deaths per year between around 328 million people.

That’s one in 17.26 million!

Although for Australia it’s about one in 4.4 million and the USA about one in 22 million.

Now, at last, I can show you that stunning video. I have literally written this whole post so I can include it. It’s a fight between an alligator and Burmese python in the Florida Everglades.

Who will win?

The result will almost certainly surprise you. And don’t worry, it’s not gory…..

Post updated 4.4.12 with updated shark death information.

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Joel April 16, 2017, 4:11 am | Link

    Hi, I’ve been living in and around Sydney for my entire life. I’ve seen Sydney Funnel Web Spiders (in abundance), Eastern Brown Snake is very common as is the Red Bellied Black Snake…..I’m not sure how many I’ve seen of each but well into double digits. I’ve had brown snakes sunning themselves on the back porch…Black snake slithered over the top of my feet in long grass and so on. With all the encounters I’ve had…not once has any of these creatures acted agressively towards me…. even though brown snakes have a bad reputation. As far as I know….it’s very uncommon for anyone to be bitten unless they step on a snake or attept to handle it. They usually slither off as soon as they realize someone is nearby. However if you live near Sydney….always check your shoes and hats ect for spiders because male funnels webs wander in to houses looking for a mate and they love hiding in shoes, piles of clothes etc. Even if by chance you were bitten….we have great health care services and antivenoms are readily available…..

    • BobinOz April 18, 2017, 8:13 pm | Link

      I couldn’t agree more Joel, I think we have the most timid ‘killer critters’ probably in the world. For the most part, they would much rather leave you alone and sneak off rather than stick around to have a fight.

      If you look at snake death statistics, for example, a very high percentage involve people who are trying to kill or remove the snake from a certain area, and quite often there is alcohol involved. Not the snake, of course.

      Then there are the accidents, where people accidentally tread on a snake but even then the snake often just gives a dry bite to release the foot so it can slither away quickly.

      I find, as you clearly do, it’s best to leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Just be aware of your environment and where you are putting your feet and hands.

  • Julianto huang March 15, 2016, 7:39 pm | Link

    there is no difference but only I know they have a special ability to adaptation to sustain their lives we can see polar bears in the bear woods usually, they have the capacity in which they are already familiar with their climate and made me learn them inferior to the man who has a sense shat which can last anywhere they differ.

  • Sean August 18, 2014, 12:55 am | Link

    Hi Bob. I enjoyed your article and video. Although I live in Canada, I vacation often, in southwest Florida. While there, we have often visited the,’Ding Darling’ conservation area on Sanibel Island. On many occasions we viewed the resident American Crocodile.
    Although they are rare, U.S.A. does have crocs. I tried to include a photo of it but could not make it work.

    • BobinOz August 18, 2014, 9:07 pm | Link

      Well I never knew, thanks for pointing that out for me Sean. I thought it was all alligators in the USA, I stand corrected. I’ve made a little amendment in my post, thanks for pointing it out.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Kamma December 19, 2013, 9:01 pm | Link

    Aren’t crocs mostly in the north, though? So living in the south should get you clear of that particular worry, no?

    • BobinOz December 20, 2013, 1:10 pm | Link

      That is correct Kamma, crocodiles are only in the north, roughly speaking about the top third of Australia. You’ll be safe down south 🙂

      • Kamma December 28, 2013, 4:52 am | Link

        Awesome! I’ll just stay in the south and make sure not to go wandering without a good pair of boots. I’ve heard about some low-frequency pulsating instruments you can put around the house to scare the snake away without harming anyone or anything.

        Oh, happened across this: http://www.snakerepellent.com.au/ and thought it might be interesting to you. An easy, humane way to encourage snakes to stay out of your garden.

        • BobinOz December 29, 2013, 4:08 pm | Link

          Boots are a good idea, snake repellents not so good, pretty sure they don’t work.

          • Kamma December 30, 2013, 11:08 pm | Link

            I’ve tried to figure that out, as it is very controversial, and I think it varies from ground to ground and from brand to brand. Some brands just don’t work, but this brand is pretty much accepted as one of the best (and used by many schools and like institutions), but even so the ground has to be hard for them to work properly, and no matter how good they are, some bolder snakes might slither on by if they want to.
            Common sense is still the best tool in the belt, and it’d be daft to believe that you would never see another snake, but they could make sure the more easily scared (read: more volatile, more likely to strike) stayed a bit further out. Unless the ground is sandy or just prime snake real-estate.
            Or that’s at least what my reading up on has come up with. Either way, you said you believed we have some power to influence the universe in one of your “Moving to Australia” posts, so maybe people believing firmly enough in them is what does the trick.

            • BobinOz January 2, 2014, 12:20 am | Link

              Haha, I can’t argue with that Kamma, I did say that in a post somewhere, so maybe you don’t need those repellents, just ‘believe’ snakes will leave you alone and they will 🙂

        • russell coight February 25, 2014, 6:44 pm | Link

          Hi Kamma, ive lived in nsw for 27yrs and I am an outdoors bloke. I love camping and hiking and rockclimbing, in all those yrs ive seen about 8 snakes,only 2 close up, one was on a hiking trail, we just backed up and threw sone small rocks near to the snake (not at the snake, that would be stupid as it could become agressive) so it would wake up than waited for it to slither off into the bush, the other was a small redbelly I came across on a farm, I just stood still and watched it, all of a sudden it darted across the path and I saw a grasshopper jump away into the grass with the snake hot on its heels. If u want to live in nsw or vic, you will not find snakes overly common, especially if you live close to a city. If u remain carm when u see one and remain stationary with no loud noises, it will ignore you and go about its way, in my experience, animals can tell if you are looking at them, the easiest way to get close to wild life and have them ignore you is by walking past them on an angle. The same with snakes, if you pretend to ignore them, they wont feel threatened and you have nothing to worry about 🙂 the worst creature in oz, worse than snakes or spiders, is the mozzie. Kill at all costs

  • Sean December 2, 2011, 7:28 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    That video is fascinating, I can see why the Burmese Python was popular as a pet, they are beautiful creatures.
    Just a question about living with snakes in Oz – how do people cope when working in areas with long grass etc? For example, I often have to walk through ground covered in overgrown vegetation for surveys and ground investigation, I don’t have to worry about anything other than a nettle sting in the UK, what would you do in OZ?
    I have seen anti snake bite boots available, is that what people use?

    Sean

    • BobinOz December 5, 2011, 10:12 pm | Link

      Hi Sean

      Yes, they are cool looking snakes aren’t they?

      If you check out my post called Australian snakes and death, you’ll see a comment a long way down from someone calling himself Artfact. He has put in a couple of links to what is probably his website that sells snake proof gaiters and snake proof chaps.

      That said, I’ve never seen anybody wearing them, but I suppose it depends where you will be doing your work.

    • Joel April 16, 2017, 4:22 am | Link

      Hey I’m from Oz and work in long grass, wooded areas etc. We usually wear boots and shorts but I’m pretty sure they aren’t snake proof…but no one worries about it. Loud noise sends snakes into hiding…you tend not to come in contact with them unless u go looking for them. For example…if some rubbish has been laying in place for some time…snakes will use it as a hiding place

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