Emerging from shoes, lying undetected in toilets, waiting patiently in cars and on walls, native wildlife has earned Australia the tag of a country brimming with deadly creatures.
In many cases, this reputation is well-earned, with countless cases of bites, stings, and close encounters with the nation’s creepiest of crawlies.
Images of the poisonous and many-legged creatures have started to pack a frightful punch overseas, with many US citizens expressing their fear of travelling to Australia because of what they might find hidden in their shoes.
A thread on Reddit, entitled ‘In Australia, this is why we wear shoes’, has sparked a long list of tales about the many encounters posters have had with finding an unexpected surprise in their backyard.
The users labelled the pictures ‘horrifying’, ‘terrifying’, ‘scary’ and worthy of cancelling trips to country.
The terror isn’t surprising, given that Australian funnel web spiders are capable of penetrating the material in shoes and finding their way into dark places with little effort.
As the country inches towards January and humidity peaks, huntsmen spiders will be out in force and keeping locals on their toes.
Funnel web spiders are the most venomous the many spider varieties found in Australia, with the male spider’s venom almost six times more toxic than the females.
Especially during the summer months as the weather gets warmer, snakes and spiders will become bolder at making a home inside shoes and other dark spots as the look for a mate.
While there hasn’t been a spider-related death in Australia since 1979, there is still plenty to be scared of, especially among those living in the US.
While many of the posters found the native creatures hiding out amusing, one Reddit user posted, ‘Funny in Australia = Horrifying everywhere else.’
Others shared tales of horror they had heard of about the creepy crawlies found in the sunburnt country.
‘I remember watching a documentary on animal planet when I was really young about Australia and deadly animals. Guy forgot to check his shoe and lost his leg thanks to some spider f**ker,’ posted one user.
Others reacted to the gory pictures of spider and snake bites, saying ‘Never visit Australia’, ‘Your country is hell. Burn it all down’, ‘Everything in Australia is trying to kill you’, and ‘This isn’t funny. This is “OH GOD NO”.
One user in the US said ‘Join us in America! Bears and cougars are too big to hide in your shoe.’
Even Australians jumped on the bandwagon of fear, advising that shoes and dark places should always be checked in case there were any stowaways making an item home.
‘If you think an Aussie critter is cute, odds are they still probably want to kill you. One way or another,’ claimed one user.
‘How are you guys still alive?’ asked one user.
The quick reply was ‘We check our shoes first. Obviously.’
So bang your shoes, shake out your rugs, check underneath the toilet seat, and beware.
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