Down Under Horrors: 35+ Australian Creatures That Are The Stuff Of Nightmares

By Aakash M January 2, 2024

This article was originally published on therocketsscience

Many animals are cute and cuddly; sometimes, you want to pick them up, hug them, and give them all the love in the world. However, that statement doesn’t apply when discussing creatures from the Land Down Under. For those living under a rock, Australia is known for its crazy wildlife. Sixty-six venomous species call it home, and it ranks third with the most dangerous wildlife, coming after Brazil (seventy-nine) and Mexico (eighty).

Considering that number, meeting a deadly creature in your bathroom while you are in the country is not unusual. Foreigners think living must be terrifying, but there’s no need to worry because they have it all under control. If you’re planning to visit the country, consider this a fair warning. From bull sharks swimming in the backyard to palm-sized cockroaches and snakes calling your toilet bowl home, let’s read through this compilation of dangerous animals that would be nothing less than nightmarish for non-Aussies. These things will make your skin crawl!

Right there

This image was taken in Gold Coast, and it’s pretty scary because you can see the fin of the shark right outside the fence of the house. For those curious, that is a bull shark – a species known to be very dangerous for humans.

Reddit/ AtomicCypher

There was a flood in that area, which caused all of this to happen. Honestly, the fence wouldn’t have helped a lot here. But it’s a consolation that there was at least a barrier. Without it, the shark would have swum to this person’s yard. Yikes!

Safe

Australians might tell other people to visit their country because, regardless of the stereotypes, it’s still pretty safe. Mass shootings and crime are relatively low compared to that of the United States. We agreed with that statement until we came across this photo. Now, we are having second thoughts.

Reddit/ bodahn

The zoomed-in version is even more terrifying because it looks like the spider is waiting to pounce on the first person who tries to open the door. Some folks are afraid to go to Canada because of the moose and bears, but they don’t hang around somebody’s car door, ready to attack like this fellow.

Winner

You’ll surely see a lot of dangerous wildlife in Australia, which means that you could also expect to see rare instances like this one where a little spider takes on a mighty snake and wins by successfully trapping it in its web. Nope, this is something you don’t see in many places.

Reddit/ The Aussie Farmer

It’s quite baffling, considering the size of both the creatures, but it’s all in front of you. The thing is that spider webs are unbelievably strong for their size. Technically, it is five times stronger than steel of the same diameter. Wow! Spider-Man makes more sense now.

Hello there

Well, there’s nothing to worry about here. It’s just your friendly neighborhood snake peeping out of the litterbox to say hello. This image was captured at a service station in Australia, and it’s enough to make a person go in the opposite direction and forget about getting gas.

Reddit/ T_Raite

The snake in the image is a carpet python. It has a funny name, and it’s not a venomous snake. These snakes are also quite popular pets in Oz and worldwide. Perhaps this fellow was the pet of the service station attendant keeping him company during the lonely hours?

Yikes

That’s the first word that came out of our mouths after looking at this image. The person who uploaded this image was checking his wife’s shoes in the morning when he saw this creature inside them. Imagine what could have happened if he didn’t take a peek inside.

Reddit/ ozmatterhorn

If it weren’t for this guy, his wife would have suffered a lot of pain. That’s a centipede, and although it has a painful bite, it isn’t harmful to humans in most cases. The worst thing you can get is swelling and mild pain. Yet, the sight of this can easily freak people out.

On the prowl

Let us break some news: You are looking at the image of Australia’s most enormous huntsman spider. According to the uploader of this image, these creatures might look scary but are very docile. Yet, we’d like to keep our distance, and we still don’t want it anywhere near our hands.

Reddit/ Bugs_and_biology

That statement has a lot of truth because even according to studies, huntsman spiders are not aggressive towards humans. The only exception would be the female huntsman spiders, only if they guard their egg sacs. Fun facts: These guys can jump, and females and males have a long courtship before mating.

That’s a problem

The friend of the person who uploaded this image had just woken up and gone to the bathroom, and that’s when he came across this horrific sight. We are curious how this creature had crawled up their toilet and what made it do so. We are really curious to know what happened after that.

Reddit/ intersim14

This image is from Christmas Island, a place known for its diverse and beautiful flora and fauna, and you have a great example in front of you. According to the uploader, this is just a regular day where they are from! Hmmm. So, what constitutes a not-so-ordinary day?

Design

There’s some Australian design for you. If we break it down, this is just some spider web covering a street light. It’s almost as if nature is sending a message that humans shouldn’t inhabit the place. Residents better start packing and set up shop elsewhere.

Reddit/ Michael_Snowy

Nature must think this place should be left to the animals and other creatures. We can’t deny it, though: this is a very effective solution for light pollution. If you were looking for a subtle sign not to move to the Land Down Under, you’re looking at it.

Drawer

Oz is the only country in the world where you might find a snake in your drawer. Imagine still not being in your senses with sleep crust in your eyes, and you see this nightmare when you open your drawer to get a fresh t-shirt. We’d most likely set the whole house on fire!

Reddit/ Aus_Scott

Some would say the best thing to do in such a situation would be to shut the drawer and call animal control so they can catch that slithering thing, but we don’t want to risk it coming back to take revenge on us. We’d say torch the place down!

Camouflage

At first glance, you’ll think there’s nothing to see here, so you could keep moving, and then you spot the camouflaged beast the next moment. Australia has around 100,000 – 200,000 saltwater crocodiles and approximately 100,000 freshwater crocodiles.

Reddit/ EmptySpaceForAHeart

Crocodile attacks happen often in the country, and since 1985, there have been at least 44 crocodile attacks on humans. Darwin and Mary River are areas with large concentrations of crocs, so if you visit, you know what to avoid.

Getting serious

Considering the size of this animal, we wouldn’t want to go near it. It’s over 6 feet tall, and it’s incredibly muscular. It’s even more shredded than most guys who regularly go to the gym. Care to guess what it is doing in the water?

Reddit/ RayMondeDeux

The big guy is waiting for its pursuers. It wants them to follow so that it could drown them. Apparently, kangaroos are masters at this. So, what’s the moral of the story? No matter how rare of a situation it would be, never go into the water with a kangaroo.

Common

Well, this is just another day in Australia. The uploader of this image wondered why the birds weren’t using this bird bath, considering it was the summer season and was incredibly hot. Then he saw this and got the answer he wasn’t expecting.

Reddit/ whitecollarzomb13

It made sense for the little birdies to stay away. They want to avoid becoming this fellow’s next meal. What’s surprising is that this snake is cooling off over here. Snakes are cold-blooded animals that warm themselves up instead of cooling themselves down.

Fighting

The person who uploaded this image returned home from the office at the right time because he was about to get live action on this hunt. This image was taken in Sydney, and over here, you can see a tarantula hawk wasp dragging a huntsman spider.

Reddit/ space_monster

A spider called ‘huntsman’ being dragged like that sounds quite funny, but that’s just how nature is. Sometimes you win, other times you lose, or in this case, die. But a scene like this with two considerably-sized insects/creatures at a house must be a lot to digest for many folks.

Shoe check

This is truly a nightmare, and if you have ophidiophobia, we advise you to turn away. You are looking at the world’s second-most venomous land snake snuggled comfortably inside a shoe. We won’t blame it because the shoe looks comfortable and warm. It must have enjoyed its nap immensely.

Reddit/ chillyfeets

That’s an Australian brown snake, owner of the second most toxic venom world. This fellow is the reason for the most snakebite-related deaths in Australia. As little as 1/14,000 of an ounce is enough to end a person’s life. Imagine it surprising you like this.

That’s a problem

If a massive spider lands on your hat, you must know you’re in Australia. You are looking at a female golden orb weaver. We are explicitly saying it’s a female golden orb weaver because males are much smaller than females in this species.

Reddit

Orb weavers are harmless creatures, but their size makes them frightening. A situation like this would be nightmarish for anyone who hates spiders. The size is enough to freak people out. It might not be harmful, but we’re not sticking around to find out.

For sale

For those who don’t know, this is a Bunnings outlet. You can stop by to get garden products, kitchen tools, and other hardware. From the looks of this photo, you can even get pythons from here. Who knew they doubled as a reptile store?

Reddit/ Red-Engineer

Here is the answer if they ever wondered why customers were staying away and sales were low the past few days. But there’s a silver lining: the absence of any critter or rat problem. There won’t be cases of shoplifting because no one’s shopping in the first place.

Thorns

The thorns on this one are enough to keep people far away. This creature is the thorny devil, and this image was taken in Central Australia. This small, spiky lizard is also called the mountain devil and is only found in the country.

Reddit/ Bush Heritage Australia

Females tend to be larger than males, and these guys have a 15-20 year lifespan. Although it looks frightening, it is harmless, moves slowly, and eats ants. Because they are tiny at just around 20cm long, they have several defenses, including puffing themselves up to appear larger.

To safety

The uploader of this photo found this poor creature stuck in the middle of the road. He then took it to safety and kept it behind a tree. We’re still wondering how he held it without hurting himself, but good job regardless. Kudos for lending a hand to a helpless animal.

Reddit/ JoJoPanda

This echidna is cute and harmless, and we could also say it is one of the few animals in Australia that is not actively attempting to kill you. You can’t see its face in this image, but they’re adorable and look like a cross between a hedgehog and a porcupine.

What happens in Australia, stays in Australia

Australia is the only place in the world where you leave your vehicle briefly and return to find out that a large snake has wrapped itself around your car’s rear mirror. What you see in the photo is a coastal carpet python.

Reddit/ josh_castle_snake_catcher

There could be two scenarios here: Maybe this carpet python is just a pet because, firstly, they make good pets, and secondly, there’s no other practical reasoning behind a reptile entering a closed car. But we’re talking about Australia here, so it could be anything.

Cereal killer

Watch out! There’s an eight-legged cereal killer on the loose. Although that’s technically not cereal, we hope you get the gist. This spider was spotted in the pantry. Maybe it was famished and was helping itself to all the supplies there. From the looks of it, this spider does like some RSPCA-approved chicken.

Reddit/ Vico1730

A sight like this can easily make people freak out and lose their appetite, but Aussies are made of more potent stuff. After all, they live where it’s common to come across the weirdest, biggest, and most dangerous creatures.

Just chilling

This person was about to begin his home workout when he saw this spider casually hanging out on the ball. The biggest question is, how did this guy move the spider away from the ball? We would have just skipped the workout altogether.

Reddit/ Mentiroso1

Arachnophobia is among the most common anxiety disorders worldwide, and a sight like this is enough to send them into hysterics. We’re unsure what spider this is and if it’s harmless, but that’s not something we intend to discover. If we saw this, we’d leave. No questions asked.

Wonderful

When camping is discussed, most folks conjure images of having breakfast in front of a serene lake and watching the stars at night. We hate to break it to you, but that’s not how it goes in the Land Down Under. Camping looks more or less like this.

Reddit/ Browndog888

If you don’t have a problem with snakes, insects, and other creatures bothering you multiple times throughout your camping trip, then Oz is a great place for outdoor fun. But if you don’t want to have a nightmarish trip, we’d advise you to stay indoors.

Word

We can think of a few things you wouldn’t want happening when you’re on the road. You’d never want to get caught in peak traffic. You wouldn’t want to see people in episodes of road rage, and you certainly don’t want to see a spider right above your head.

Reddit/ AndrewHewat

We’re glad this image was taken after parking. It would’ve been a nightmare if this thing was on the inner side of the car’s roof. Imagine what would have happened if the driver was racing his car at 120 miles per hour and the spider suddenly landed on his head.

Australian mornings

Being in Australia means the possibility of waking up to a sight like this and screaming at the top of your lungs. It isn’t that bad, though, you can think of it as Mother Nature’s gift, a wasp eating a huntsman spider. How many people can say they witnessed the same thing?

Reddit/ Cintyyyyyyyyyy

We’re glad the uploader was on the other side of the window when they took this photo. He thought it was cool; we’re glad he shared it with everyone. This is one less surprise for folks traveling to the Land Down Under soon.

Nature’s wonders

We have seen wasps eating spiders on this list, so we’d like to show you something different. This image is of a golden orb spider eating a microbat. It looks like our eight-legged friend has taken down a big opponent in this situation.

Reddit/ watsgamorn

Golden orb spiders weave very strong webs and prey on locusts, moths, cicadas, beetles, and, in some cases, microbats. They might not be dangerous to humans, but for other small creatures, they’re bad news. Fun fact: their name comes from the color of their silk.

Confusion

The strange insect you see in this image was spotted on a mandarin tree somewhere in Queensland. It took a lot of time to research the name of this insect, but it seems like it’s some giant weevil. Weevils belong to the family, but they can be easily distinguished from their cousins with their elongated snouts.

Reddit/ Snagw3ll

This creature has a very unique look and even seems as if it’s crocheted, but that’s just a rare color. They don’t carry any diseases and aren’t harmful to humans, our furniture products, or even our pets. Some folks even say they make wonderful pets!

Comfort zone

How do snakes relax on a chair? Look at the photo below. It needs no explanation. This pet carpet python comfortably relaxing on a chair may be endearing to its owner, but it’s scary to most. Who knows what it will do if you go near it? Strike you, most probably.

Reddit/ josh_castle_snake_catcher

What is it thinking about? Is it having an existential crisis, or is it pondering its next meal? Will it be the same old thing, or will there be something new on the menu to try later? We can only guess.

Wonderful

This is a good way to use those ugly souvenir cups people buy and give to their friends after a trip. We only hope that it’s a comfortable space for the spider. Most people would probably freak out if they saw a spider in their house, especially something this size.

Reddit/ RPA031

Some people prefer to keep spiders as pets instead of the usual dogs, cats, or fish, but we’re not cut from the same cloth. Would you keep one in Australia if you knew their spiders were strong enough to lift two glasses? You’d probably change your mind.

Innovative

Parents everywhere are complaining about child locks that don’t do their job. Here’s a new concept that might be worth trying. If a snake found its way to the drawers, there’s no way anybody would dare try to open them under any circumstance.

Reddit/ -rock-bobster-

From the looks of it, it seems as if this is a pet snake. Carpet pythons such as this make amazing pets (compared to other snakes). However, someone with experience best handles them, and they require extra care due to their strength and size.

Meme material

This image of all these crabs is meme material, but we specifically refer to the lone crab on the road (look carefully at the bottom picture). So many people would have a good laugh at that image. Why did the crab cross the road?

Reddit/ christmasisland

This is the annual red crab mass migration to the sea on Christmas Island. Every year, millions of these red critters emerge from the woods and migrate to the seas to spawn. So if you’re there at the right time, you could witness such a unique occasion.

Rather not

A situation like this can prove to be a test of strength for the mightiest of the mightiest. It’s almost as if this creature has taken over the fan and is its home now. So, to avoid any trouble, it’s best just to let it be by itself.

Reddit/ RealJakeyPooV

From the looks of it, it’s probably a moth. Moths aren’t this big, so the light and the shadow are probably making it look larger and more terrifying. The main question is, how did it even get there? We’d also like to know what kind of moth it was.

Stuck

This photo’s uploader woke up to this scene, a giant of an insect stuck on his bin one fine morning. He must have been jolted awake. This is a stick insect, and it does look a little scary, but it is practically harmless.

Reddit/ dasvenson

They won’t attack, bite, or sting. They might get slightly startled upon being touched, but they’re not harmful to humans or even their pets. The best thing to do would be to admire them from a distance. We’ll take over the other creepy crawlies on this list.

Watch out

If traveling up the peninsula in Australia, you should watch out for these guys. You can see how long this thing is. It is literally forming a line that’s meters long in length. And it looks like the spiky hair would hurt a lot.

Reddit/ gumbanawildernessretreat

These are called ‘itchy grubs,’ and their technical name is Australian bag-shelter moth. The spiky hair strands you see are very brittle and built to pierce the skin so that it won’t come out. We’re scratching ourselves all over just looking at this.

Whoops

Nothing to see here, folks. This is just an everyday morning commute in Australia. You can go back to what you were doing. If we judge this image by the expressions on the driver’s face, it feels as if he isn’t aware of what’s going on above his head.

Reddit/ Gryphon0468

But, since this is in Australia, and if the driver is an Australian, he probably wouldn’t be that freaked out when he sees the spider. If he’s been living in Oz for long, this would probably be the most boring thing to happen to him all day.

Invasion

It must be a shame to realize that you must go through so much trouble changing a car battery. By trouble, we mean dealing with the spider, the egg sac, and the web. We wonder how things panned out after this image was clicked.

Reddit/ Astrofluke

This is a redback spider. It is highly venomous, and on top of that, it is guarding its egg sac, so it will most likely be aggressive to anything and anyone that comes near. Its bite might be painful, but it isn’t fatal.

Umm…

Well, this image is of a spider invasion that happened in March, somewhere in New South Wales right after the place received 26” rainfall in 5 days. All the brown things in this image are not soil, they’re spiders. There must be millions!

Reddit

From the looks of this situation, even stepping foot in this place is a huge risk. It is best to keep your distance or move to another city or a totally different continent. If you’re going to spend time and money uprooting yourself, you might as well go somewhere that doesn’t get invaded by arachnids after rainfall.

Close call

It’s good that the person who uploaded this didn’t immediately put his earphones on without checking. We can only imagine what would have happened if this thing got into his ears. Public service announcement folks, if you live in Australia, you have to double-check things for safety.

Reddit/ ARussianAndHisBike

We know how small the earphone buds are. If we were to guess from this image, it seems as if the spider got stuck trying to sneak in. We may not be in Oz, but after seeing all these photos, we feel like locking our doors and checking our home’s nooks, crevices, and crannies.

Guest

Although we wouldn’t like to get too close, this toad does look cute chilling inside the boot. Only in Australia would you find animals, venomous or otherwise, in such weird places. Being cautious is something that must be practiced when in the country.

Reddit/ goodoldroger

We all know how a boot is structured and shaped. Considering the so little space in the area where you have to rest your foot, we’re curiously wondering how the toad managed to get in. It must have been one small toad.

Passenger princess

This is what you call a passenger princess in Australia. This is probably the result of somebody accidentally leaving the door open, and when they came back, they witnessed this surprising and frightening scenario. Is it time to get a new car yet?

Reddit

It would be difficult to guess what snake this is, but it resembles a brown snake in every aspect except the color because it’s too light. And we can rule all pythons out. It’s a dangerous situation, is all we can say.

Hostile area

Although these are not large creatures, you’ll be bitten a million times if you ever come even close to such a massive gathering of mosquitoes. This image was taken somewhere in Mildura in Northwest Victoria, which is absolutely horrifying.

Reddit/ Murrumbeenian

What led to such a congregation? We’re curious. It seems as if they are trying to open the door together to conquer the house from within. Mosquitoes may not be as scary-looking as the others on this list, but something like this would still give us nightmares.

Stay safe

This is why, in a country like Australia, you should check multiple times before wearing anything, sitting, or even standing anywhere. Although you can’t see the head of the snake in this image, you can tell that this isn’t child’s play.

Reddit/ whatisuniqueusername

The creature that’s hidden under the toilet lid is a brown snake. They are highly venomous and considered to be among the most dangerous snakes in the world. Even a juvenile brown snake bite could be fatal for a human.

Careful there

You’d have to tread with much caution and care on this one. Nobody would like to clean themselves with that toilet paper, but the spider could be easily squashed if you pull it with a lot of force. We hope neither happened.

Reddit/ DrCorona365

If you pull the toilet paper slowly, you’ll get toilet paper. If you pull the toilet paper quickly, there’s a chance you’ll get a bonus prize. In this case, the bonus prize is something nobody asked for, an anxious/aggressive spider.

Shopping spree

This passenger on the trolley came unexpectedly for the person who uploaded this image. This shows how challenging shopping is in Australia. It’s not so tricky to identify which snake this one is, so our best guess is Python.

Reddit

This story has only one lesson: You cannot even shop in the Land Down Under without checking all the surrounding areas. After looking at so many images of snakes, those in Australia are some of the most creative and adventurous, considering how they always end up in the least-expected places.

Optionless

Well, this person might have gone to open this garage door, but looking at this scenario, there seems to be only one viable option. Burn the place down to the ground! Just kidding. But, a little beast is guarding the door.

Reddit

The best thing to do here is try to pull the latch down. In most cases, the spider runs away. However, this is Australia. What’s common in other places may be the outlier here. We don’t know how spiders behave here, considering their frequent run-ins with humans.

Appreciation

The person uploaded this image with the intent to appreciate these beautiful creatures. This is a native Australian bug known as the macropanesthia rhinoceros.The common name for this creature is the giant burrowing cockroach, and it’s also called the Queensland giant cockroach.

Reddit/ AD_Kosmos

These are the world’s heaviest cockroach species, and they can live up to ten years. We understand that a close-up of this insect might be a little too much for some viewers, but it is indeed a beautiful creature. We just don’t want it on our palms.