Wet and Wild and Wet and Weird!

On Sunday we decided to have a family day out.  So my wife and I and my son and daughter headed for Wet and Wild, a water park on the Gold Coast.  It’s very rare that all four of us go out together on account of the fact that my son, aged 22, stayed in the UK when we decided to move here.  He is just here on a visit at the moment.  My daughter, on the other hand, chose to come with us – a smart move for a 3 year old.

Yes, I know. Big gap between my two children. But I just thought it was best to wait until my son had finished school, cleared college and left home before jumping in and having a second child.

At the entrance, Wet and Wild made it clear what they are photography policy was. “All pictures taken within of these premises must be for personal use only and are strictly for non-commercial use”. So I won’t be blogging about wet and wild, which is probably good because I promised you I would start talking this week about Australia’s bad things.

But visiting wet and wild did remind me of some wet and wild intruders I found in my swimming pool………….

Last summer I was doing my weekly maintenance to the pool, which starts with fishing out the leaves with my net. Suddenly I saw an ugly creature swimming in my pool doing what looked like an up and under and having a wonderful time.

So I fished it out and dumped it on the side.

A Water Scorpion - The Front is to the Right.

A Water Scorpion – The Front is to the Right.

I carried on looking for leaves and what the……. I saw another one! So I fished him out too. I put my daughters’ pink bucket over them and headed for my computer. And that’s when I found out they were actually Water Scorpions, capable of giving you a nasty bite.

So I went back and picked them up (on a bit of card, I’m not into nasty bites) and put them in an old roasted nuts and raisins jar, as you do. Then I took some video footage.

Having been here no more than a few months, I showed my video to the local pool shop man confident he’d know what they are, after all, he maintains over 4,000 pools in the area. But he had never seen anything like them, so I guess they’re unusual around here. Lucky, lucky me I thought.

So these two Water Scorpions were intruders, trespassers on my land. I have had a lot of those. I have tried to take photos of most of them and I intend to share them with you here. The most common intruders are insects, spiders and bugs. Least common are crocodiles. There’s a whole host of Australian bad things that fall in between.

As far as Australian bad things go, these two weren’t so bad. They never looked like coming close to giving me a nip. I hope you appreciate how I am easing you into the bad stuff. It will build up though, until I reveal Australia’s truest nightmare!

Watch out for more trespassers and intruders soon.

Please note: No water Scorpions were harmed in any way during the making of my video. Having discovered that these things are just as comfortable flying as they are swimming, I decided to give them their freedom. On condition they stay out of my pool! I took them to a nearby field and released them into the wild. Even though they seize passing small animals in their forelegs and kill them, which of course, isn’t very friendly. Turn the other cheek, that’s what I say.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • craig October 7, 2014, 7:25 pm | Link

    More than 30 years ago, l was stung by one. Twice on the heel, at Toorumbee ck.,near Kempsey NSW. It felt like standing on broken glass. By the time l got out of the water, the pain had gone, but, l lost all feeling in my foot & then my leg by the time l was helped to the Car. By the time we got to Hospital [ 20 min.s ], l was paralyzed down one side [vision, hearing & only being able to talk from one side of my mouth]. Just like a massive stroke. I was kept in Hospital for around 6hr.s [ when l slowly got my feeling back, on my left side & received no anti-venom as they didn’t know what stung me. Within 3 weeks, l ended up loosing 2 x stone [ l was 9.5 stone before it ] & felt VERY weak & sick. 5 years after l was shown 1 from the same spot & 1 x 10 years later, from 50ks up river, in jars, & brought in by friends to show me. I always wear shoes in the water & don’t stand on Ck. & River beds ever since. I thought l was going to die that day, but, without any pain, except for a sharp quick pain for 30 seconds.So…….lookout everyone! I’ve been warning everyone since.

    • BobinOz October 8, 2014, 12:21 am | Link

      I did read somewhere that these things do have an enormously painful sting on them, I think it was over at the website that I used to identify this critter originally. There were many many comments from people who would come across these things but no one had ever been stung.

      You are the first I’ve heard about Craig, and you certainly have confirmed these things can do some damage. Not so much the pain, sounds like that didn’t last too long, but it must’ve been a very scary experience losing the movement in half your body.

      It’s surprising what these relatively small creatures can do to you isn’t it?

  • Paula October 1, 2014, 2:28 pm | Link

    Been here on the Sunny Coast for 5 months now & loving it, & today I found one of these hideous little critters in my pool too! Kids weren’t as impressed with it as they were by last weeks Rhino Beetle, lol.

    • BobinOz October 2, 2014, 12:32 am | Link

      Hideous, yes they are, but they do like a good swim. As for those Rhino Beetles, have you noticed how they always seem to die on their backs with their legs in the air?

  • BobinOz February 25, 2011, 5:00 pm | Link

    No, chlorine doesn’t bother them at all and they do seem to prefer not to travel alone. My mate had some in his pool up the road too.

  • Julianne February 24, 2011, 8:44 am | Link

    Hi there, glad to see that your not the only one, we have had heaps of the in our pool as well, cant work out why they like the chlorine water though!

  • BobinOz September 9, 2009, 8:05 pm | Link

    Hi Bronwyn

    They like to make themselves at home don’t they? A friend of mine who lives up the road from me got one too. Seems the only person who has never heard of them is my pool guy down the shop!

    Glad you managed to fish him out safely without too much drama to the kids.

    You should be all right, my two never returned.

    Cheers

    Bob

  • Bronwyn September 9, 2009, 4:34 pm | Link

    Hi there, We live on the Gold Coast and I have just found one of the Water Scorpions swimming in our pool. I did a mass evacuation of the children and managed to fish it out. Thanks to your site I was able to ID it. Hopefully it will be the only visitor of that kind for us.
    Thanks
    Bronwyn

  • Phil March 3, 2009, 8:01 am | Link

    Bob, this is great and very interesting.
    I find it more interesting than the Australian wild life TV shows over here, that go out of their way to find the really bad stuff. Those shows (and very interesting they are too) have their place, but I think you are filling a gap in the (information) market here.
    I have occasionally found spiders in my sink, and 15 years ago we had a vole in the kitchen! We do get frogs in the garden, but the hovermower finds them first so the less said about that the better.
    Keep it up mate
    Phil

    • BobinOz March 3, 2009, 12:58 pm | Link

      Unlike the TV shows, I will be going out of my way to avoid really bad stuff! Hey! You need to buy a bicycle bell for your hover.

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