“Come to Australia, you might accidentally get killed” is a line from a catchy, comedic song by the Australian group Scared Weird Little Guys.
In a country full of stunning beauty and pristine wildlife, it is a promotion that can spark fear in tourists and laughs in the locals. In fact, a good dose of Aussie humour is when the locals speak to outsiders and with a serious face warn them about the drop bears.
The drop bears, a vicious deadly animal, wait for their victim high in the trees and drop on top of you the second you pass underneath. Before you know it, the drop bear is wreaking havoc on your face and you’re lucky if you escape with your life and a facial deformity.
The naive tourist then cautiously embarks on their hike, looking up at each tree as they pass, and it is only when they google ‘Drop Bear’ that they realize it is all a hoax; an elaborate ruse to entertain the locals. The Australian humour that often goes hand in hand with the deadly wildlife is perfectly captured in Bill Bryson’s travelogue In a Sunburned Country. It is a sense of humour born out of a wild, frontier mindset and living in such proximity with animals that could be from another planet. What would be terrifying to an outsider, is dealt with in-jokes from the locals that also reflect the Australian character to be laid back. “No worries”, “Too easy”, “Little dramas mate”, are all phrases heard daily. One very Australian video is of a brave man saving his dog by getting in a boxing match with a Kangaroo and stunning it with a jab to its jaw. The humour is in how unbelievable the situation is, a kangaroo boxing a man, and the element of facing danger with fists up and swinging.
Whether exploring the arid outback or swimming at one of the gorgeous beaches, Australia is packed will creatures and critters, big and small, that can kill you if not cause severe pain. Sharks, saltwater crocodiles, jellyfish, redback spiders, snakes, stonefish, the knife clawed cassowary bird, wild dingos, and drop bears, are all just a handful of the many dangerous and deadly encounters anyone can have.
Even Kangaroos are a major hazard when driving through the outback, with motorists having to dodge the hopping boxers. Not to mention the oppressive heat that has been described as either burn, burn, burn or drown in your own sweat. While death and injuries do occur, the truth is the supposed number each year is very minimal.
In fact, most of these incidents are due to the fault of humans. For example, lethal or life threatening snake bites were shown to be from those who were foolish enough to pick up the snake or play with one after drinking too many cold schooners.
The same can be said for those who walk off the path in the bush or swim beyond the jellyfish and shark nets. This reckless behaviour only invites these sorts of dangers. Having lived for centuries with these dangers, Australians are very clever and careful with avoiding them, so read all signs and follow all rules.
With spiders and snakes specifically, the vibration of footfalls on the earth is all it takes to send them running as they are often more frightened of you. Other incidents are by accident, such as a bite from something burrowing in an empty boot. However, the dramatic phrase that ‘Get help in 10 minutes or you’ll shrivel and die’ is often overhyped and hospitals (even those in remote outback towns) have anti-venom.
For tourists or travellers, an even greater danger is not the wildlife but driving in the outback unprepared. With roadhouses (i.e. gas stations) few and far between, lack of water and gas for the car can spell danger – especially without an internet connection to call for help. Therefore, always have a jerry can of extra petrol and jugs of water.
The dangerous aspect of Australia, even the threat of danger, is also the appeal and part of the experience. The Australian tourism industry takes full advantage of this demand and also uses it as an opportunity to educate others on the value of their wildlife. For instance, the Crocodile Sanctuary in the Northern City of Darwin is a major attraction.
Visitors take a boat ride down a muddy lake while attendants dangle chunks of raw meat on fishing lines into the water. Out of nowhere emerge crocodiles which leap out of the water to grab a morsel. This tour is one of many than blends the unforgettable entertainment of jumping crocs with a lesson of the importance of the animal in the ecosystem. If you love the thrill of seeing wild animals like this, there are many documentaries and books to enjoy.
Even animal-themed online games offered by online casino sites such as Rose Slots are incredibly immersive and engaging. Online slots such as Spin Game’s ‘Jumping Jack Cash’ as well as the African themed ‘Great Rhino’, ‘Safari King’ by Pragmatic Play, gets you up close and personal with wild predators. The great quality of these online games is that they are also fully compatible as mobile slots so that on long Aussie road trips you can spin the reels. The gameplay is very straightforward with 5 reels, around 3 to 4 rows, a set number of pathways, and features with bonus rounds that offer numerous chances for major payouts. The visuals of the slots as well as the opportunity for winning real money is enough to motivate the travel bug in even the biggest homebody.
Of course, whether on Safari or in exploring the Outback, always be on guard. Danger does exist so enjoy wildlife from afar or follow any advice from guides or locals. This is particularly the case in remote areas, where hospitals or help can be far away. Use common sense and remember to check your shoes before slipping on. Also, keep an eye open for those pesky drop bears.