Australia’s Killer Creatures and Death

How many people die?

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?

grizzly bearSeriously, 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, as at 2011 when I created this page:

  • 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. Update: In 2016, Jayden Burleigh was widely reported in the media as having died following a redback spider bite. A severe abscess had formed under his left arm affecting his glands. He was treated in hospital and released after four days with a course of antibiotics; he died two days later. A further complication was he was involved in a car accident a few weeks earlier and had only just recovered from his injuries. An official cause of death has never been recorded, as far as I’m aware. More from The Guardian.
  • 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. Update: I stand corrected here. If you check the comments below, on December 22, 2016 K.Glasheen describes how Charles Garbutt, in 1935, died after being stung by a cone snail. I did find confirmation of this online, so we need to amend the figures for this critter; let’s call it one death in about 100 years.
  • 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.

So the best advice I would give anyone about staying safe in Australia would be nothing to do with avoiding scary creatures. It would be “swim between the flags” if you are going to take a dip in the sea.

Does that put it into perspective?

Thinking of moving to Australia but scared of snakes?

Check out this link:

More useful links:

I have loads of posts about Australia’s wildlife; in fact I have an entire category about them called Australia’s Bad Things.

Yes, initially it was supposed to be about all things bad, but the more I got to know about Australia’s wildlife, the more I realised that most of it just adds to the sheer beauty of life in Australia.

But here are some of the posts specifically about Australia’s killers….

Of course, the world’s ‘biggest’ killer critter is the tiny mosquito. We have those too and they are a whole lot worse than all the above put together. But nobody says ” Don’t go to Australia, they got mosquitoes!” do they? You can read more about mosquitoes here…….

Had enough yet? No! Good, because I’ve got a couple more for you. Firstly, it was my privilege to be bitten by a Redback spider…….

And secondly, I was honoured when a snake, yes, a real live snake, wandered into my house…..

And don’t forget to swim between the flags!

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{ 149 comments… add one }
  • Jim Walker July 13, 2016, 1:42 pm |

    So Aussies are scared of Fruit bats? Rubbish but most detest them because – they are prolific breeders they roost in BIG colonies thousands at a time, They sterilize the ground beneath the roost trees and they stink. They screech at dusk & dawn but worst they destroy $ millions a year of fruit, a lot of which was for export. Australia feed 70 million people a year, not bad for a colony! Provided the bats haven’t killed the trees.

  • jess June 10, 2016, 10:28 am |

    Hi bob, I have followed your site for a few years now and its great, thank you.
    We are British expats who have been living in Auckland NZ for a decade now, kids born here etc. However, we are thinking its time to move on and we like Brisbane but the snakes and spiders are really worrying me. If you install sheet metal fencing to the ground, spray the house in and out for spiders regularly how likely are we to come across something at our house/garden?
    Is there anything we can do to stop them coming in the yard so the kids can play without shoes etc? Are there suburbs that are less likely to have dangerous animals? At the moment we like to look of Redcliffe, Clontarf and Bribie island. Thanks Jess.

    • BobinOz June 10, 2016, 9:11 pm |

      Well, firstly, having a pest control treatment to your house regularly, I have mine done once a year, is very effective. I hardly see any spiders at all in my house, and if I do, it’s normally towards the end of the treatment, most usually in the 12th month.

      It’s how I am reminded to get it done again.

      A snake proof fence though, that is a little trickier, although not impossible. If you Google it I think some people do claim it can be done, but I think it does involve the fence extending under the ground for whole length of it, can’t remember how deep and no overhanging trees.

      I suppose, as a rule of thumb, the closer to the city centre you get, and the more concrete there is around, the fewer snakes there will be. But I wouldn’t let the existence of snakes govern your choice of suburb.

      By and large, snakes really don’t trouble us at all, they are very shy. Most people, me included, don’t even think about them at all. You might like to read the following post as well…

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Jess June 12, 2016, 11:26 am |

        Thanks so much, that has helped put my mind at ease. I never thought I would be looking for as much concrete as possible in my house criteria lol but I will do now!

  • Jon Haugsand June 4, 2016, 8:59 pm |

    Thanks for this article and website. I have two comments. First I watched Stephen Fry on BBC and he mention the same fact on spiders, noone dies from the venom any more. However, a few dies every year in traffic accidents when freaking out finding one behind the sun screen. Shouldn’t this count as spider deaths?

    Secondly, how dangerous a thing is is dependent on the situation you are in. Given that most people doesn’t go hiking around crocodile habitats, it is interesting to assess the risk being one doing exacly that.


    • BobinOz June 6, 2016, 5:28 pm |

      I suppose the problem with those possible car crashes caused by spiders is there is usually no proof of what has happened. If somebody falls off of a horse, or gets charged at by a bull, it’s clear to see what has happened.

      But a spider in a car? Who would know? I take your point though.

      And yes, humans proximity to danger is an important factor, simply by not swimming in any of the seas around Australia you can eliminate quite a few potential dangers immediately. That’s why I like swimming pools 🙂

  • Caroline April 16, 2016, 2:41 pm |

    What about drop bears? Surely they’re the most lethal.

    • BobinOz April 16, 2016, 9:05 pm |

      Some things are best left unsaid Caroline. People need to be able to sleep at night, I don’t want to be the one to stop that from happening.

      Let’s move on.

  • Adran Brown April 13, 2016, 5:37 am |

    Bob. I’m an Aussie traveling around the world, talking to plenty if people. I get the same answer, often from educated folk ‘I’m not comming to Aus caus there’s too many dangerous. I’m developing a come-back to this. I ask them… Are you a logical person? & Do you smoke? … Strange looks… I repeat those simple figures you mention & the fact that 15,000 Australians die per year from smoking related causes… Sometimes they’re ready to think about it. Adrian

    • BobinOz April 13, 2016, 11:20 pm |

      Yes, Australia’s killer creatures reputation goes before it and it stretches worldwide. There are so many ways to die in every other country in the world, but apparently not in Australia. Here a critter will get you 🙂

  • Leslie Graham February 25, 2016, 4:39 pm |

    There are 36 recorded deaths from snail cones in the last 90 years.
    The article wasn’t clear whether this was in Australia or just in Queensland alone but I got the impression they were just talking about deaths in Queensland.
    Don’t go to Australia – apart from all the obvious dangers there are other reasons not to visit I can’t tell you about here or my comment would be deleted.

    • BobinOz February 25, 2016, 5:51 pm |

      If you are talking about my article about the comes now Leslie, the one that is linked in the above list articles, it was made quite clear that there were around 30 deaths worldwide from cone snails.

      And as is says above, ‘I could find no recorded deaths from cone snails in Australia whatsoever.’

      By the way, I only delete comments that are in breach of my comment policy and you can read that by clicking the link above the comment box any time you choose to make a one. So I’m not sure why you think I would delete your comments if all you want to do is offer your opinion.

  • Barbara Brindley February 19, 2016, 9:02 am |

    It’s quite incredible that bats (flying foxes) are not mentioned above because millions of people in Australia are terrified of them and demand they be culled, dispersed or by whatever means possible to get rid of them. However only 3 recorded deaths in the last 30+ years from the Lyssavirus in Australia (some say only 3 in approximately 200 years). Why are people so scared of them? It’s all to do with media scaremongering. There’s little or no positive media education about our vital night pollinators. There are vaccines for both the Lyssavirus and the Hendra virus. However approximately 200 children have died in a similar 30 yr period from drowning, there’s no vaccine for drowning. Domestic dogs in Australia kill more people than bats, and filicide (parents killing their own children) is responsible for approximately 27 babies/children dying every year (no vaccine for that either).

    • BobinOz February 19, 2016, 5:25 pm |

      Well, the reason flying foxes have not been mentioned in the above article is for the very reasons you’ve given yourself, they are not dangerous killers. I have to say, I disagree with your statement that millions of people in Australia are terrified of them. Cautious maybe, simply because they do carry that virus.

      People often want them moved on because they travel around in large groups and can be very noisy at night.

      They come and visit me once every year for a few weeks as they feed off of my tree. I’ve got a couple of videos, see…

      Flying foxes are okay by me, and I believe they are good for the environment, pollinating some of our trees.

      • Barbara Brindley February 19, 2016, 6:47 pm |

        Thanks for the reply BobinOz. I still believe millions of people are scared of them, having been in contact with SO many people over the years who despise them and just want them culled. It isn’t caution, it is unmitigated fear and hate, but the media do nothing to allow us the opportunity to educate people. There are 4.6m people in Qld, 7.5m in NSW and 1.2m in Adelaide (where most bat colonies are) and practically every Councillor, due to pressure from residents, has applied for a dispersal order to get rid of the bats, due to fear. In Cairns recently all the roosting trees around the town were cut down, and then the historic trees around the Novotel Oasis Hotel were chopped down to get rid of the bats, even the maternity trees were chopped down, despite tourists admitting they loved our bats and specifically stayed in Cairns so they could watch them fly out every night. In Charters Towers there have been approx 13 dispersals (none have been successful), and the costs are in the hundreds of thousand dollars each time. Even people in CT admit they kill the bats whenever they can, despite it being illegal. It’s extremely sad that we can’t educate the masses, and yes you are right flying foxes do pollinate some of our trees, ie. most of our native trees, including the Eucalyptus woodlands that our unique koalas depend on (ie. the koala placard “no tree no me”), and our rainforests around Australia where most of the trees and flowers can only be pollinated between midnight and 3am when only bats are about. Great to be part of your blog and thanks for the opportunity to comment.

        • BobinOz February 22, 2016, 4:44 pm |

          Thanks for the education, as you can see though from the links I provided in my previous comment, bats are always welcome in my back garden.

        • Leslie Graham February 25, 2016, 4:45 pm |

          I stayed in Cairns for a year and in Charters for about 6 months when I was travelling around Australia in my housebus. I concur that to foreing tourists like me the bats are fascinating and I loved to see the huge flocks of tens of thousands heading out from that park in Charters. I still have a picture of them on my computer here.
          I heard that about 50,000 bats literally dropped dead from the heat recently.
          As global warming is ramping up the temperatures to new record highs in Australia you might find that the bats cease to be a ‘problem’ altogether.

  • Elvis February 10, 2016, 4:45 pm |

    The only issue I have with this article is the apparent misunderstanding the Author has with the terms “Dangerous” and the terms “Deadly”
    It’s not always made perfectly clear, for example in youtube lists, what the difference is.
    The best distinction that can be made is that deadly animals are just that, deadly. They have the highest kill counts. This is not necessarily because they are most powerful or venomous. It is often due to the aggressive nature of these animals.
    Dangerous, from what I can gather, is the potential to be fatal for humans.
    Using the Cone shell as an example. The cone shell is insanely venomous. Its venom could kill multiple humans. But as stated above it lacks the aggression (Or human stupidity) to acquire a significant kill count. This qualifies it for most venomous and most dangerous categories.
    Some of the most dangerous animals in the world are not the most deadly. If you were to look up any list you can see the difference.

    • BobinOz February 10, 2016, 6:46 pm |

      Interesting to hear your thoughts Elvis, but I’ve had a quick scan of my own article and unless I missed anything I’ve only used the word ‘dangerous’ four times, just once in the article and a further three times in links to other posts, all correctly as far as I’m concerned.

      I’ve not used the word ‘deadly” at all. I am, I can assure you, aware of the difference between the two words.

  • dub allard December 10, 2015, 7:42 am |

    thanks bob that helped me. I’ve been watching “72 dangerous animals Australia” and it kind of freaked me out, so thanks

    • BobinOz December 10, 2015, 9:32 pm |

      We’ve got 72 of them? Wow, now I’m freaked out 🙂

      • dub allard December 11, 2015, 11:42 am |

        and 90 percent of them are native to the land 😉

        • BobinOz December 11, 2015, 9:13 pm |

          I’ve made a note to check out that list, I want to know which ones I’ve missed out!

          • dub allard December 11, 2015, 10:29 pm |

            just go on Netflix and look up 72 and it should pop up (its a great show)

            • BobinOz December 14, 2015, 6:47 pm |

              Thanks for that, I have now added it to my list on Netflix.

  • Vaibhav Vyas October 17, 2015, 5:50 am |

    Wow this really pulls the pressure off my system. I saw some posts where people were constantly telling how dangerous can Australia be but now I am relieved.
    So what percentage of population live in dessert ?
    Since they have higher chances of an encounter with these deadly reptiles, animals and spiders.

    • BobinOz October 19, 2015, 4:43 pm |

      Yes, not as bad as all that after all, is it? I’m not sure what you mean by the desert exactly, but the vast majority of Australians live in major towns or cities. I don’t know the exact percentage, but I would have said less than 10%, maybe as low as 5%, live in what we call the outback.

      • dub allard December 10, 2015, 7:44 am |

        wow can i use this for my school project?

        • BobinOz December 10, 2015, 9:34 pm |

          Of course, but as you know, you must always quote your sources, even in homework. I know that because my daughter has to reference wherever she gets her information from. But by all means, feel free to use it.

          • dub allard December 11, 2015, 11:09 am |


  • Adi September 6, 2015, 8:32 am |

    Sorry, that comment was intended for this page:

    • BobinOz September 7, 2015, 10:45 am |

      That’s OK Adi, the comment is fine here. Australia’s reputation for having killer creatures and being a dangerous place because of them is vastly overstated, or, to put it another way, its bark is worse than its bite.

      As Mike has said, taking into account the gun fatalities in the US, Australia is a much safer place all round.

      • Mike Puleston October 2, 2015, 7:19 am |

        Another 13 people killed in a US college shooting yesterday.

        As far as I know, there have never been any school or college shootings in Australia.

        You are FAR FAR FAR more likely to be killed by a gun-toting loonie on an educational site in the USA than you are by a critter in the Oz bush.

        • BobinOz October 2, 2015, 1:20 pm |

          Yes, another shocking and senseless waste of many young lives. When will it stop?

  • Adi September 6, 2015, 8:30 am |

    Wow! Having heard so much about how most of the most venomous snake species live in Australia, I was surprised to find out that there are fewer deaths from snake bites per year in Australia than in the United States. Given that North America overall has the least venomous snakes of all continents except Antarctica and on average only 5-6 people per year are killed by snakes in the United States, my first reaction was “Come on, this guy has to be either grossly misinformed or lying his head off to promote tourism.” So I researched it, and found that in fact the average number of snake bite fatalities per year in Australia is approximately 2.

    To be fair, keep in mind that the population of the United States is about 13 times as large as Australia’s, so Australia has 4-5 times more snake bite deaths per capita. However, that’s still surprising considering its reputation for being teeming with deadly snakes.

    • Mike Puleston September 6, 2015, 10:02 am |

      What worried me when I travelled in the USA last year was not snakes but guns. On a per capita basis, the USA has ten times the number of gun fatalities as has Australia. We certainly did hear guns blazing away near a campground where we were staying, so we didn’t take a hike. Pity- it was beautiful country. Apparently Walmart sells brightly coloured clothing that you can wear in the woods to reduce the risk of a drunken hunter mistaking you for a moose, squirrel etc.

  • mike puleston July 21, 2015, 7:22 am |

    Hi Dudette. The most dangerous things in Sydney are the politicians. Avoid them, and you’ll be fine…But seriously, I grew up in Sydney, and rarely saw a snake, and then only twice in the bush in 20 years. Yes, you’ll see some spiders, but not any dangerous ones, unless you go poking around under houses or stick your fingers into rock ledges.

    • BobinOz July 21, 2015, 9:00 pm |

      Couldn’t agree more Mike 🙂

  • Dudette July 20, 2015, 10:08 pm |

    I want to make a study year in Sydney. Im so afraid of snakes and spiders 😀 🙁
    How is it in Sydney? Are there many snakes and spiders? :S 🙁

    • BobinOz July 21, 2015, 8:59 pm |

      I don’t know the exact number :-), but yes, there are snakes and spiders in Sydney, there are snakes and spiders everywhere in Australia. Don’t worry about it though, you could live here for years without seeing the snake, and thanks to pest control, I see fewer spiders in my house here than I ever did back in the UK.

      Anyway, you’ll be so busy concentrating on your studying you won’t give it a thought 🙂

  • Ayşe Salier June 19, 2015, 4:07 pm |

    Hi I’m eleven and I live in Oz and I’ve never seen a wild

    > Croc
    >Snake (Dangerous)
    >Shark (big)
    or even a Red-Back!!
    But I’ve seen a drop bear!
    LoL I’m kidding there’s no such thing!
    I don’t see why Oz is scary!?

    • BobinOz June 20, 2015, 12:40 am |

      Exactly Ayşe, that’s the very point I’m trying to make here. Australia isn’t scary at all, people just think it is. There are plenty of countries scarier than this place, that’s for sure.

      A lot of adults are scared of coming here because of the snakes, spiders and other critters, hopefully they will read your comment and think “if someone who is 11 can deal with it, surely I can as well?”

      Thanks for helping out here, Bob

      • Patricia Anne August 1, 2016, 11:38 am |

        I saw a picture of a Drop Bear and I decided that I cannot go. In the San Francisco Bay area, we have Eucalyptus trees and Acacia trees. I ‘d be afraid even in Melbourne or Adelaide, two places that I thought I’d like to visit to even walk in a public park, they might pounce on ME! If I am being silly for.a young senior please advise. I think that autumn ( your harvest and wine season) in March would be a great time to visit.What are my safety chances?

    • jess August 1, 2016, 9:21 pm |

      lol, now you have me researching drop bears! No kidding, feeling much better about it all now. Probably won’t even get the super snake fence installed ?

      • BobinOz August 2, 2016, 1:07 am |

        All Australians everywhere have a kind of collective unwritten agreement, we do not mention the Drop Bears. So please, can we change the subject? I don’t want the nightmares to return.

        If we can all just act as though Drop Bears don’t exist? It’s the Australian way, please toe the line.

        Thank you 🙂

  • mike puleston April 28, 2015, 6:05 am |

    I feel a lot safer in the Australian bush or sea than I do on British motorways. They are really scarey places!

    • BobinOz April 28, 2015, 11:14 pm |

      Surfing off the coast of WA versus driving around the M25?

      Yes, me too, I’ll take the ocean 🙂 Or the outback, all day long.

  • Valter Russo February 24, 2015, 5:06 pm |

    Hi Bob.

    How are you hanging with the ciclones and stuff?

    what brings me here today is the most anoying thing in the world besides politicians… flies
    can you tell us how you guys manage in different places in Australia?
    i found some info if you like to see

    there is a myth that australia have more than 1000 flies per capita.
    i’ve read about the mosquitoes a lot, are they in all of australia too?

    best regards.
    sorry my English
    Valter Russo

    • BobinOz February 24, 2015, 10:11 pm |

      Funnily enough Valter I have read that article before, it’s very interesting isn’t it? I’ve also written a lot on this website about flies and mosquitoes, if you search using those words in my search box towards the top right hand side of every page, you’ll find them soon enough.

      I also wrote an article for Australia and New Zealand magazine about it and I will be reprinting the article on these pages in a couple of months or so. I can assure you though, particularly here in Brisbane, it’s not as bad as all that. I rarely get bugged by flies although mosquitoes can be a worse problem. There are things you can do around your property though as you will see from the articles I’ve written about them.

      Getting back to flies, it quite literally often depends on which way the wind blows, they can be really pesky in some areas for a while and then completely disappear.

      Check out those articles, you’ll find out more. Cheers, Bob

  • Brian February 22, 2015, 5:10 am |

    Thinking bout getting a one way flight to Brisbane and hope people are friendly.. Settle down there and live out my days.. Just fly in with basically the clothes on my back.. What you think..??

    • BobinOz February 22, 2015, 9:35 pm |

      Sounds like a bad idea to me, and I’d also like to point out that you will need a visa that will allow you to do what you want to do. Have you got one? If not, it’s not only a very bad idea, it’s an illegal idea.

  • brian swift December 21, 2014, 12:47 am |

    trying to find the name of young man killed by blue ringed octopus at watson’s bay sydney 7 june 1967 please

  • Craig November 15, 2014, 1:38 pm |

    Hi Bob

    I think the issue for foreigners is more not knowing the general locations of alot of these animals. For instance if you are in the northen territory Wa region you should be advised not to just jump into any streams or water holes as majority of australians know there is a good chance of whats lurking below the surface . The same could go for the beaches if its on dusk or dawn and you are swimming with schools of fish how many aussies compared to foreigners know that it raises chances for sharks. Yes all these animals can be very dangerous just care and respect is needed also please note for anyone coming on holiday to aus dont go straight from airport to the beach and jump straight in stay between yellow and red flags i would say it is the biggest issue for foreigners.

    • BobinOz November 16, 2014, 9:46 pm |

      Yes, absolutely Craig, I think local knowledge is very important and anyone visiting this country should speak to the locals for a few safety tips first. I was in Darwin last year, I thought they had done a pretty good job of putting up warning signs close to rivers and other swimming holes, saying beware of the crocs.

      But that’s not to say that every single swimming hole or river has a sign, so it’s always worth checking first. As for swim between the flags, couldn’t agree more.

      Cheers, Bob

  • notwhati'veheard October 15, 2014, 12:52 pm | – according to this, spiders have killed at least 3.. >> data from the National Coroners Information System

    • BobinOz October 15, 2014, 7:54 pm |

      The article you have referred me to with that link is talking about the coroner’s report, I wrote about that myself in my post…

      If you go to that page there is actually a download link to the full report, I can assure you there is no reference to 3 spider bite deaths during the period and it is pretty common knowledge that nobody has died here in Australia since the late 70s from the spider bite.

      I think I can pretty safely say that the other website is wrong. If anyone can show me otherwise, I would certainly want to hear about that.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Paulo October 9, 2014, 5:42 am |

    Are these encounters with snakes and spiders common in all australia? Can you give me a notion of how are animals scattered?

  • j June 9, 2014, 3:04 pm |

    This is great! Love perspective

  • Ross May 28, 2014, 8:19 am |

    Also re box jellyfish, I think most deaths were before the 1980s. Since then, designated swimming areas have been netted, first aid treatments have improved, and people have started swimming in full length pantyhose in seasons when they are prevalent. Now that last info will put off the tourists 🙂

    • BobinOz May 28, 2014, 7:26 pm |

      Yes, for sure, treatment has got much better and those nets certainly help, although not in the case of the rather scary irukandji. But even treatment for those seems to be getting better.

  • Ross May 28, 2014, 8:12 am |

    Thanks Bob. Concur about the blue-ringed octopus. Kids are the main risk. FYI, I was once stung on the side of the neck by a scorpion. It was back in the 70s in an era before tents had sewn-in floors. While the initial sting was quite painful for a few minutes, the main concern was that my face swelled up like a balloon and I was afraid my throat and breathing might become constricted. Not much I could do in the middle of nowhere, so I lay calm and still and put some antihistamine tablets under my tongue (an era when effective hay fever medications were still available). The swelling subsided after about an hour.

    • BobinOz May 28, 2014, 7:24 pm |

      That’s true, kids are, anything shiny on pretty that looks like a shell they want to pick it up and put it in a bucket 🙂

      Kids love playing like that on the beach, as adults it pays not to be too far behind sometimes.

      Thank the Lord for antihistamine tablets, they saved a lot of people.

  • Ross May 24, 2014, 5:44 pm |

    Your info on snakes, sharks, spiders, crocodiles and jellyfish seems pretty consistent with my memory of 60 + years living in this country, but I am sure when I was a kid – and I’m stretching the memory here back to late 50s to late 60s – there were deaths caused by stonefish and blue-ringed octopus in Moreton Bay, and possibly also cone shells. I’m certain there was at least one death from a blue-ringed octopus and there was a spate of stone fish injuries, although not absolutely sure if any victims actually died from the latter. The cases were reported in The Courier Mail, although it would be a hell of a lot of microfiche work to find them.

    • BobinOz May 25, 2014, 8:10 pm |

      Your memory serves you very well Ross, there were indeed incidents in the Moreton Bay area, at Redcliffe to be specific. I think there was a blue ringed octopus death and at least one stonefish injury linked to Redcliffe, I think I mentioned them both on the actual posts for each of these critters.

      Blue ringed octopus deaths have only occurred, as far as I know, where people have picked them up, so there’s a clue to staying safe. Stonefish not so easy.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Kaizad Sheshbaradran April 23, 2014, 7:04 am |

    If so i feel bad for australian, first off where the **** is Tarzan.. is he killed XD

    • BobinOz April 24, 2014, 12:35 am |

      I’m afraid Tarzan didn’t qualify for a visa, his skill wasn’t on the list. 🙂

      • Roger April 24, 2014, 6:37 am |

        No jungles?
        But he is a lord, with lots of money. That should have counted for something.

      • Neil September 21, 2014, 9:26 pm |

        Can I remember hearing Kookaburras on the Tarzan sound tracks?

        • BobinOz September 22, 2014, 7:53 pm |

          Only you can answer that question Neil 🙂 Seriously though, I can’t recall whether kookaburras were on any of the Tarzan soundtracks, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were.

  • Tony March 4, 2014, 4:34 pm |

    Anyone know of a complete list of deaths per cause for whole of Australia?
    E.g. heath x
    Cars y
    Houses z

    • BobinOz March 5, 2014, 1:00 am |

      Search ‘Australian deaths ABS’ and I’m sure the Australian Bureau of Statistics will have a ton of information there, the trick is finding it. There is a mass of information on the site, it will be in there somewhere.

  • Mat Britton February 16, 2014, 9:39 am |

    Hi Bob, do you have any stats on how many people are killed by dogs each year in Australia?

  • brack December 15, 2013, 5:01 pm |

    You forgot death by ants. Those damn jack jumpers….

    • BobinOz December 16, 2013, 3:59 pm |

      I’ve not heard of anyone dying from ant attacks here in Australia, but those jumpers, they are pesky.

      • Ian January 10, 2016, 12:47 pm |

        They can indeed kill but it is highly unlikely. They are like bees and wasps so a few people are highly allergic and get an anaphylactic reaction. My understanding is that in Tassie, where jack jumpers are quite common, one person dies about every five years. Quite a few people end up in hospital though.

        • BobinOz January 11, 2016, 7:04 pm |

          Yes, that makes sense, thanks for clearing it up Ian.

  • Tomek September 9, 2013, 11:02 pm |

    Great job! I shared this site with Polish friends who want to live in ur country because they are so scared about animal killers in Australia. How we see, more dangerous are horses 🙂

    • BobinOz September 10, 2013, 1:59 pm |

      Thanks Tomek, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing it with your Polish friends. Can you now share it with the rest of Poland? 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Aussie August 6, 2013, 4:44 pm |

    Oi, you forgot about the Drop Bears! 😛

    • BobinOz August 7, 2013, 12:45 pm |

      Some things are just so scary they should never, ever been mentioned 🙂

      • Neil June 23, 2014, 5:59 pm |

        Just eat vegimite for protection from drop bears.
        I always tell my more nervous tourists that the only thing we have in Australia that will chase you and kill you is the salt water crocodile and we don’t allow them to come down south.

        • BobinOz June 24, 2014, 4:15 pm |

          I think a cassowary would have a good go at chasing you and killing you, but we don’t have many of those down south either 🙂

  • Lucinda June 14, 2013, 12:58 am |

    Excellent info thanks. I think it would be good to add deaths by motor vehicle accidents plus deaths as a result of drugs and alcohol. Cheers, Lucinda

    • BobinOz June 14, 2013, 7:50 pm |

      Good idea, I’ve already written a post about road deaths in Australia compared to the UK, and Australian road deaths are way too high. As for drink, drugs and even smoking, well, I’m pretty sure deaths due to those vices would be massive compared to those caused by our Australian critters.



  • Laura Evans June 11, 2013, 6:37 pm |

    Wow, i have always had a fear of spiders and although it sounds a bit stupid, that’s one thing that’s always put me off coming to Oz! I’m a lot better than i used to be but i still loathe them. But now, you’ve made me want to come to Oz ASAP! 🙂 Nice one!! x

    • BobinOz June 11, 2013, 8:10 pm |

      Well that’s made my day Laura! Nobody should avoid moving to Australia because of silly old spiders, so I’m really pleased to hear I’ve talked you out of that. See you in Australia soon 🙂


  • Cara May 9, 2013, 10:11 pm |

    I have lived in australia for 13 years and have seen 2 redbacks. That is it

    • BobinOz May 11, 2013, 1:03 am |

      I’ve been here over five years and I’ve never actually seen one, which is interesting, because I know at least one has seen me. The little critter bit me!

  • Joe February 23, 2013, 12:30 am |

    Thanks for this,

    I’ve been thinking of moving to Australia in a few years time once I’ve built up enough years work experience to qualify on the Skilled Occupation List but the idea of all these animals was freaking me out.

    You’ve definitely put things in perspective. I’ve had a look into some UK stats and was interesting to see that over 100 people are bitten by the venomous adder each year.


    • BobinOz February 26, 2013, 5:51 pm |

      Yes, there are dangers living in just about every country in the world, I’ll settle for the ones we have here in Australia, they really aren’t as bad as all that. Glad you enjoyed the article, hope to see you here in Australia soon.


  • clark January 31, 2013, 12:19 am |

    thanks that help me relax. im going to oz for first time sono

    • BobinOz January 31, 2013, 4:12 pm |

      See you here soon then Clark 🙂

  • Dillon January 20, 2013, 4:56 am |


  • Dillon January 19, 2013, 10:33 am |

    my email is (removed) if u want to talk i like your website a lot

    • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 7:35 pm |

      I removed your email address from your comment Dillon, save you ending up with lots of spam messages. Glad you liked my website, we can talk on here 🙂

  • Dillon January 18, 2013, 9:38 am |

    sorry for the spelling

  • Dillon January 18, 2013, 9:38 am |

    now that i think of it australie isnt that bad of a place.

  • Ella January 11, 2013, 1:14 pm |

    Haha.. You never updated the shark attacks. There were 14 in 2012. Sure, only two out of 14 died… But that’s two too many… and they were both in Perth, WA. Which is where I live. Which made everyone a bit scared to swim. lol

    • BobinOz January 12, 2013, 5:10 pm |

      As the page says, the figures are up to date as at March 2012, but I know it’s been a very bad year over in Western Australia, I wrote about it in a post about Australian Sharks and Death. And it’s got even worse since then as well, I think I’d be a bit scared to go into the sea over your way as well!


  • Chris (Amateur Traveler) September 7, 2012, 4:56 am |

    But you didn’t mention vending machines. In a typical year vending machines kill and average of 9.1 Australians… more than all the others combined.

    • BobinOz September 7, 2012, 2:23 pm |

      No! Really?

      I tried to check it out, but I couldn’t find anything to back that up, although vending machines do kill occasionally. It’s usually people trying to steal food out of the machine or going crazy because they’ve lost their money, apparently. I read about a couple of deaths in the US, but nine a year in Australia? Where did you read that?

    • Roger September 8, 2012, 12:55 am |

      This got my curiosity up so just had to check it out. I found several sites that stated there are an average of a bit over 2 people a year killed by vending machine tipovers in the U.S. One was an insurance site, two others were urban legend sites. None dealing with Australia, but I don’t know why this wouldn’t hold true there as well.
      And then there’s the question of 9.1 Australians per what time period. Year? Decade?

      • BobinOz September 8, 2012, 9:18 pm |

        Well it’s supposed to be 9.1 a year according to Chris the traveller, I really can’t see it, can you? We would have seen it on 10 News by now, wouldn’t we? I saw the figure for two in the US, that would equate to about one decade for us, wouldn’t it?

        In a perverse way, I think it would be cool if vending machines killed more people than snakes here. No more Venomland tag, Vendingland! But I can’t see it being true.

        Chris, what’s your source?

        • Roger September 9, 2012, 1:06 am |

          If it was 9.1 I’m sure it would be in the news about everywhere. I don’t know how that would equate to one decade for y’all, if you’re referring to Australians.
          And frankly if you think about it Australia wouldn’t want a “Vendingland” tag. It would give the impression that the people thieves and stupid. Besides, it would take years of research to come up with an “anti-vendom”.

          • BobinOz September 10, 2012, 12:24 am |

            Well, what I was thinking, was there are about 20 times more people living in the US than here in Australia, so if two die a year in the US in one year, then it would take 20 years for the same two people to die here in Australia. That’s one a decade.

            If, on the other hand, 9.1 Australians are really dying every year here, then that makes us 4.55 times more stupid than Americans were in the US in that one year. Maybe I’m over analysing this?

            Scientists though, given time, will surely come up with an antivendom, which I’m not sure is such a good thing. People would end up punching vending machines, trying to get a free can of Coke and there will be no real consequences. That’s not a society I want to live in.

  • Roger July 15, 2012, 11:37 pm |

    Sharks*: Accounted for 25 deaths between 2000 and (March) 2012 in Australia, about 2 a year.

    How does this come to 2 per year? It looks like about one per month.

    • BobinOz July 16, 2012, 6:18 pm |

      Still looks like 2 a year to me, one of us is misreading something.

      • Roger July 17, 2012, 12:15 am |

        Oops, I misread. I read it as 2010 to 2012. Sorry.

        • BobinOz July 17, 2012, 9:34 pm |

          I did wonder, no worries! It could have been worse, you could have been right 🙂 Then none of us would ever go into the sea!

  • jatinder bhatia July 10, 2012, 5:42 pm |

    good sharing thanks

    • BobinOz July 11, 2012, 8:15 pm |


  • Ayran May 14, 2012, 11:39 am |

    Thanks very much for all that very useful and interesting info !!

    • BobinOz May 14, 2012, 9:10 pm |

      You are welcome Ayran!

  • ashley April 24, 2012, 2:32 pm |

    wosh. so excited to go to austalia knowing that i will be safer than i originally assumed.
    what about scorpions though???

    • BobinOz April 24, 2012, 9:56 pm |

      Yes, we’ve got scorpions. I’ve never seen one, and so far, nobody in Australia has been killed by one. So, no worries then eh!

  • kieran norway December 8, 2011, 7:49 pm |


    • BobinOz December 9, 2011, 9:47 pm |

      smd? Is that a word?

      • troll September 17, 2014, 4:36 pm |

        he said s*** my d***

        • BobinOz September 17, 2014, 8:01 pm |

          Gosh! Why would somebody make a comment like that? It’s a rhetorical question, of course.

          Thanks troll, I’m glad you explained that one to me, but now I have to censor your reply, no hard feelings, this is a family blog 🙂

  • carla clark December 8, 2011, 7:48 pm |

    wow thats alot better then i expected i want to move there now !!!!!!!!!!!

    • BobinOz December 9, 2011, 9:46 pm |

      Come on then!

  • carla clark December 8, 2011, 7:47 pm |

    wow thats alot better then i expected !!!!!!!!!!!

    • BobinOz December 9, 2011, 9:45 pm |

      Yes, it is, isn’t it?

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