I’m Near The Deadliest In The World… And I’m Still Alive! 

Australia is home to most of the deadliest plants and animals in the world. So, why am I here again?

I’ve learned that is IS possible to live in Australia (at least for two weeks) and not die from poisonous plants or animals. One of my favorite places I’ve visited so far has been the Blue Mountains because of the history, scenery, and diversity in wildlife. The Blue Mountains are a mountainous region located in New South Wales, Australia and there are over 4 thousand square miles of land to hike, climb, and bike on. 

The Blue Mountains have been home to the Gundungurra people and Darug people for thousands of years and were listed as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO in 2000. 

While on my tour of the Blue Mountains, the guide, Tristan, gave me some valuable life lessons for survival. 

  • 100% of spiders are poisonous

Of course as I’m walking on a small trail behind him, he proceeds to point out many other poisonous plants and animals. One of the most poisonous spiders lives in the hole seen in the picture below. The female shares her scent and waits inside for the male to fertilize her eggs. After about 3 seconds the male darts out before the female can kill him, a common occurrence for these spiders. I couldn’t help to think it would take less than three seconds to bite a human…

Thankfully no spider came out!
  • “If the snake is brown or black, stay the hell back!”

As I continued on the trails I asked Tristan if he knew what to do if we just so happened to see a snake. He replied with a famous Australian saying, “If the snake is brown or black, stay the hell back!” However, Aussies seem to love telling stories about their near death experiences. My Australian friend, Alice, told me about the time she had a dangerous snake slither across her toes. She laughed while she told the story, but I’m sure that wasn’t the case when it happened. 

Poisonous berries Tristan pointed out for me not to eat
  • Don’t eat these berries or you’ll die

I came to another deadly part of the Blue Mountains. Tristan warned me not to eat these berries or I would die. Yes sir! Part of me thought Tristan was just having a grand time with horror stories about the various poisonous things in the Blue Mountains, but as I researched more and more, I continually found articles about the deadliest animals and plants.. all in Australia of course. 

As I prepared for my trip a few weeks back, my friends and family would post pictures and videos of enormous spiders, dangerous snakes, and boxing kangaroo on my Facebook wall. However, since I’ve been living in the city I haven’t encountered spiders in my shoes, lizards under my sheets, or snakes out my front door. One of the most assuring things I’ve learned in Australia is that even though the most deadliest creatures live on this continent, it is a safe place and stereotypes aren’t always true. Some wildlife even allowed me to get close enough to touch and take a selfie! 

My new friend, the Emu!
Koalas sleep about 18 hours a day. This one is ready for bed.

Australia has many stereotypes, especially regarding the wildlife. Yes some wildlife here are deadly, but I believe I’m more likely to get hit by a car here then bit by a spider or snake (especially because they drive on the right side of the road and I’m not accustomed to that). As I travel to new places, I’ve been able to release the stereotypes I came with, gain a realistic perspective, and experience life as a local. Below is a picture of my new friend and I. People warned me about the boxing kangaroos, but this one was calm and certainly had a personality! 

Kangaroos are to Australia as deer are to America

Join me in forgetting about the sometimes harsh stereotypes in your own life to gain a realistic perspective instead… and make some friends along the way! 


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