Is It Dangerous to Live in Australia?

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We see all kinds of videos and information on the internet that goes viral within seconds. Some of it is truly authentic and needs to be spread, while others are nothing but a bunch of rumors and fake edits. Australia is notorious for the same thing – dangerous animals crawling everywhere.

Every geographical location has its own set of natural elements. There are poisonous plants, wild animals, and even diseases that are specific to a region. Simply labeling Australia as a dangerous country to live in would be unfair and illogical. It should be evident that the sheer size of Australia is enough evidence for the diverse living beings that live there.

Australian cities are often ranked as the world’s most livable cities.[i] The government and local management systems are playing their role to ensure the safety of its citizens. As opposed to the viral videos, there is little to be afraid of while living in Australia.

If you plan to visit Australia or are new to the country, there are a few things about which you should be careful. After all, it is a foreign land, and it is better to err on the side of caution than to be sorry later.

The Harsh Sun

The Harsh Sun

The depletion of the ozone layer above the atmosphere of the Earth is an unfortunate phenomenon. Due to global warming and excessive pollution, the layer is thinning at an alarming speed. Being on the literal opposite side of the globe, Australia is directly under a very thin layer of ozone that has become a hole over time. This hole in the ozone layer is responsible for the extremely harsh rays from the sun throughout the year.

You are sure to get a third-degree sunburn if you spend 10 minutes under direct sun. The harsh sun is also one reason that the rate of skin cancer in Australia is higher than in most countries[ii]. To keep yourself safe, using sunblock is a necessity in Australia. It is better to avoid being in the sun altogether, but you must cover yourself with a good sunblock generously if you can’t avoid it.

Storm Warnings Are Real

Storm Warnings Are Real

Australia has that all-sunshine vibe to it, but a good part of it is tropical. It gets wild storms and cyclones every once in a while. The storms can get ugly really quickly. If you happen to hear a storm warning on the radio, it is better to stay indoors. It’s a bad idea to drive on slippery roads or be near water bodies.

Land Creatures

Land Creatures

Yes, Australia has many creepy crawlies that will scare you, but your chance of ever encountering one is quite slim. Australia indeed has a large number of dangerous venomous snakes. But the good thing is that these snakes are not people friendly. They like to keep hidden in their homes away from the cities. Snakes have powerful senses, and they can quickly know if a human is near them. It is improbable that you will ever get a snake slithering towards your house. If you are off for a hike and see a snake in its natural habitat, back off slowly and thump your feet loudly. Believe it or not, these wild creatures are not interested in humans.

Similar is the case with spiders. Although some species of spiders look horrifying, most of them are harmless. Take the example of the huntsman spider. They are big and hairy, but they don’t bite humans. On an off chance that you get one in your home, just scoop it outside, and you’ll be good. In fact, huntsman spiders feed on other creatures like lizards and insects that could bother you.

Kangaroos

Kangaroos

Among many other marsupials from Australia, kangaroos might be the cutest one. They are big but cute and hop around happily. You might get a sudden urge to pat them or even hug them, but we can assure you that’s not a good idea. First of all, you won’t find any kangaroos hopping around in the streets. They are found in their natural places and wildlife zoos.

Even if you find a kangaroo while wandering through a remote area, observe its beauty from afar. Do not approach a wild kangaroo, or they might attack you if they feel danger. You don’t want to get yourself knocked out by a kangaroo now, do you?

Sea Creatures

Sea Creatures

Australia is home to many sea creatures, including sharks, stingrays, and jellyfishes. If they are so dangerous, how come Australian beaches are famous worldwide, and millions of people swim in the sea every year? The reason is that the Australian government takes the safety of its citizens very seriously, and there are professional coast guards almost everywhere on the beach.

It does not mean that you can’t come across sharks and stingrays while swimming. Most of them are harmless and would swim away upon seeing humans. But it would be best to avoid swimming in areas where sharks can often be seen. For this reason, you will find signboards around such sites, and of course, it would be foolish to ignore them.

Most Jellyfishes found in Australian waters are harmless. The box jellyfish and the Irukandji type are the only ones that can be dangerous, but they are only found in the Northern regions between November and May. On other surfing beaches, you may occasionally see those annoying bluebottle jellyfish. They can sting a bit if they contact the skin, but they are not dangerous. In case you get stung, wash the area with seawater and then with hot water.

Crocodiles

Crocodiles

Like Kangaroos, you won’t find any crocodiles running casually around your house. Australian crocodiles are primarily found in the northern tropical regions only. There are two types of crocodiles in Australia – the saltwater crocs and the freshwater ones. They are not found in places that humans frequently visit, and authorities keep moving them to their natural habitats if they find them.

To be on the safe side, avoid swimming in random water bodies. Many patrolled beaches have flagged pathways for swimming. Follow the flags, and you will be out of crocodile danger.

Bush Fires

Bush Fires

The extent of bush fires in Australia is easily seen by everyone. The sheer magnitude and destruction caused by them are enough to demonstrate its power. Eastern Australia is the most vulnerable region to catch a bush fire. The predominant growth of the eucalyptus plant, followed by high temperatures and low humidity, results in massive fires.

Since 1851, around 800 people and billions of animals have died in such occurrences. The most recent fires lasted for about a year, from June 2019 to May 2021. Apart from natural phenomenon, local authorities suspect deliberate arson may be partially responsible. You never know what a casually thrown cigarette can do in a fire-prone country like Australia.

Conclusion

Australia is home to millions of people. Many of them were not born there, but they consider Australia as their second home. While a motherland has its charm, you can make a home out of any place if you know how to work your way.

Like any other country, Australia demands loyalty and honesty. You will have to abide by the rules and regulations, be a good citizen, and there is nothing that can stop you from being successful. Make sure that your move to Australia is legal in every way possible. Don’t get caught up in scams and agents who promise an easy way out. Not only will you get in trouble with the authorities, but you will also lose a lot of your hard-earned money. It is easy to save up an amount to apply legally for a visa than to be scammed and regret it later.

Australia is a great country that offers so much to its people – good-paying jobs, great food, nail-biting sports, you name it!  The rumors spread like wildfire faster than the truth. Just because a piece of land is far away and is home to many species doesn’t mean it is dangerous to live there. It is wise to take precautions anywhere you go. Natural phenomena are everywhere, and you have equal chances of getting caught in them as in any other country.  Don’t pay heed to such talks and focus on your goals, whether they are related to higher education, business, or a better job. Everything you dream of is within your grasp as long as you are willing to work hard.

[i] Taylor Locke (September 4, 2019), “These are the world’s most livable cities in the world.” Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/04/global-liveability-index-2019-most-liveable-cities-in-the-world.html

[ii] “Skin cancer statistics.” Retrieved from https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/skin-cancer-statistics/

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