The 7 Scariest Creatures in Australia That You Probably Don't Know About | Summary and Q&A

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June 24, 2018
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The 7 Scariest Creatures in Australia That You Probably Don't Know About

TL;DR

Australia is home to various terrifying plants and animals, including aggressive magpies, paralysis ticks that can make you allergic to meat, venomous giant centipedes, deadly strychnine trees, venomous cone snails, excruciating Gympie Gympie plants, and tiny but painful common kingslayer jellyfish.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why do magpies attack humans?

Magpies are highly territorial and attack humans, particularly those near their nests, to defend their chicks. Research suggests that the aggressive behavior is a learned response and more common among magpies in big groups.

Q: How can paralysis ticks make you allergic to meat?

Paralysis ticks inject a carbohydrate called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose into the bloodstream while feeding, which can sensitize humans and cause tick-induced mammalian meat allergy, making them allergic to red meat and other mammal products.

Q: What makes Gympie Gympie plants so painful?

Gympie Gympie plants have tiny, silica-tipped hairs that easily pierce the skin and release toxins. The main pain-inducing compound, moroidin, causes excruciating pain that can last for months, and the hairs can also be airborne, leading to nosebleeds.

Q: How dangerous are common kingslayer jellyfish?

Common kingslayer jellyfish have stingers all over their bodies and can inject potent venom, causing burns and Irukandji syndrome. Symptoms include rapid heart rate, nausea, and a sense of impending doom, but stings are rarely fatal with proper medical care.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Australia is not only known for snakes and spiders but also for other terrifying creatures like aggressive magpies, paralysis ticks, giant centipedes, strychnine trees, venomous cone snails, Gympie Gympie plants, and common kingslayer jellyfish.

  • Magpies in Australia can attack humans, particularly those with nests close to cycling paths, using their sharp claws and beaks, and scientists believe that their aggressive behavior is a learned response.

  • Paralysis ticks found on Australia's eastern shores can inject neurotoxins and a carbohydrate that can make humans allergic to meat, causing tick-induced mammalian meat allergy.

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