If you think Australia is a dangerous land to live in, and some people do call it “Venomland”, wait till you hear about the sea. We’ve probably got more creatures living in water that can kill you than we have that live on the land.
A few years ago, I ran a little series on dangerous sea creatures, covering the likes of:
And I haven’t even started on Sea snakes!
Anyway, something happened just last week that has made me return to this subject with a slight amendment an update to one of those sea dwelling killers.
In my post called Dangerous Australian Sealife Continued: Stonefish, I mentioned that you would need to be “on the North-East coast, probably past Fraser Island” to encounter one of these fish.
I did mention though that there had been possible sightings of stonefish further south, at Redcliffe, then at the beginning of this month story emerged of a woman being stung and hospitalised over at Wynnum, a coastal suburb on the East of Brisbane.
I’m not sure why I thought they were only found further north, I know I did some research at the time, but clearly that information is now known to be incorrect. So, I thought it was important to do an update; I’d hate somebody to be gaily skipping along in shallow waters somewhere East of Brisbane without a care in the world until…..
“AAAARRRGGGH!!!! Gosh, how can this be? I’ve trod on a stonefish and Bobinoz said they didn’t have them here!”
The rest of the information on that previous post is true, the stonefish is the most venomous fish in the world, it can kill a human, but, you’ll be pleased to know, there is no evidence to show that one ever has.
According to today’s video, coming up, something like 30 people a year are stung by stonefish in Australia, but the antivenom is highly effective. If ever you or anyone in your company is stung by a stonefish, placing the affected area, normally the foot, into hot water can help break up the venom.
Call for an ambulance immediately, and it’s almost a racing certainty that everything will turn out just fine.
It is though, without doubt, a concern as most of our kids, my daughter included, just love going into the sea and running about. For anyone unlucky enough to get stung by one of these critters, the pain is apparently completely unbearable. I have also since discovered that this danger isn’t restricted to the sea.
The Bullrout is known as the “Freshwater Stonefish” and can be found in streams and estuaries from southern New South Wales right the way up to northern Queensland.
The Bullrout also has an excruciatingly painful sting, but again, hot water eases the pain as does morphine, and medical treatment can bring almost instant pain relief. From what I’ve read about this fish, it’s not as venomous as the stonefish and, again, no deaths have been recorded.
Both of these fish though are very ugly.
You can see what a stonefish looks like by clicking on the link in the above list; this is also a stonefish, but what’s called a reef stonefish. Very similar, and just as scary…
…an here’s a bullrout