Australia is home to an array of fascinating animals. Some Australian animals are well-known – like kangaroos, dingos, wallabies, wombats, and of course, the koala, platypus, and echidna. However, the region also provides shelter to some unique and deadly creatures that most have probably never seen before. Today, we will look at some of the weirdest creatures – from aggressive sharks to scary-looking fish.
Albeit fascinating, you really wouldn’t ever want to encounter these animals in person.
Related: 12 Inspiring Photos of Australian Animals Saved from Fires
1. Box Jellyfish
Box jellyfish (Cubozoa), also called sea wasps and marine stingers, are primarily found in coastal waters off Northern Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific. They may look delicate, but they are apparently the most toxic animal on earth as their venom contains toxins that attack the heart, nervous system, and skin.
The box jellyfish’s sting is said to be unbelievably painful and a large dose can cause cardiac arrest and death within minutes.
2. Dumbo Octopus
The Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis) lives on the ocean floor at extreme depths of 2,987 - 3,962 meters (9,800 to 13,000 feet). These rare deep-sea animals are on average, about 8 inches long, and are named after the character of Disney's popular 1941 film Dumbo. The flaps on the side of their head are specialized flippers that help them move through water swiftly.
3. Blue-Ringed Octopus
Don’t be fooled by the pretty looks of the blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena); it's one of the most poisonous animals in the world. Found in the coastal regions of Australia and around the Pacific, a bite by this octopus will kill you in about 10 minutes because of respiratory failure. Amazingly, the blue-ringed octopus holds enough venom to kill 26 adults at one time.
4. Faceless Fish
This scary fish was first found off the coast of Papua New Guinea in 1873 and then, over a century later, was spotted again near Australia's eastern seaboard. Curiously, the faceless fish (Typhlonus nasus) doesn’t have any eyes and its mouth is underneath its body. It lives so deep in the sea that it doesn't need eyes anyway.
5. Deep Sea Lizardfish
This is one fish you really don’t want to encounter for you may end up with several sleepless nights. However, the chances of that happening are remote as the deepsea lizardfish (Bathysaurus Ferox) lives at depths of 600-3,500 meters (1,969-11,483 feet). It rests on the ocean bottom, waiting to snatch prey, and tears it apart with its needle-like teeth.
This peculiar fish lives off the southeastern coast of Australia and Tasmania and has been christened the world's ugliest endangered animal. The blobfish (genus Psychrolutes microporos) has unique Jell-O-like skin and a face that almost always appears to be in a frown.
7. Sydney Funnel Web Spider
The Sydney Funnel-web Spider (Atrax robustus) is perhaps the most notorious of all spiders. Found primarily in New South Wales, these spiders often take shelter in homes and can even survive immersion in water for several hours. They do so by trapping air bubbles next to their skin. Their venom has a neurotoxin component that attacks the human nervous system and can even result in death.
Sloane's Viperfish (Chauliodus sloani) almost appears to be a creature from a scary sci-fi movie. It has glowing organs, called photophores, along its belly that help mask the fish’s silhouette from predators below as well as to attract its prey. Its first vertebra, right behind the head, is designed to act as a shock absorber. The viperfish swims at its victims at high speeds and impales them through its sharp teeth.
9. Eastern Brown Snake
The eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) is considered to be the second most venomous snake in the world. Its venom is a hemotoxin that affects the blood and is so powerful that it causes massive internal bleeding. Found along the east coast of Australia, this snake is highly aggressive and is known to attack anyone or anything that approaches.
10. Bull Shark
Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) are often regarded as the most dangerous sharks to humans because of their highly aggressive nature. These fearless animals tend to head-butt their prey before attacking and will eat almost anything. They can move back and forth between saltwater and freshwater with ease and are the most likely sharks to attack humans
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