Thursday, February 11, 2010

New list of things that can kill you

What is Australia famous for? Things that can kill you in horrible, disfiguring ways. Ken and I went to the aquarium, precisely so we could go to the section called "Dangerzone", where they store all the dangerous sea creatures that you'd really rather not accidentally brush against if you had a choice. Like, you know, a great white shark. They don't have one of those, but they have a display about people staggering from the surf while missing limbs which is riveting.

So what is there?
  • Cone shells. So, the slow motion video of this innocuously pretty-looking seashell engulfing a small fish is pretty entertaining, but then you read the information and realize that it contains a fast-acting toxin that causes muscle paralysis and extreme pain. But don't worry, the notice cheerfully informs us, there is an antidote. Oh good. I'll be sure to keep that in mind while I pick up this shell that's washed ashore with the tide and raise to my ear to OH GOD OH GOD MY BRAIN IS ON FIRE!!!!!!
  • Sea snakes. These are kind of pretty. They have flat tails. And enough venom to kill several people. They tend not to emit it when they bite you in defense though...only when they're trying to eat you. So you should ask it its intentions while it's dangling from your calf muscle. "Were you trying to swallow that or just piss me off?"
  • Blue ringed octopuses. These very tiny little octopuses are capable of hiding behind rocks and under sand, and are so poisonous that even the water they hang out in can become toxic. They contain enough poison to kill 10 people. It causes muscle paralysis and cardiac arrest. There is no antidote. Consider that one for a minute. There is a tiny octopus that can hide in small spaces, that can immediately kill you in drooling searing agony, and there is no antidote for the poison. Oh, and also, you might not know you've been stung immediately...only when your face starts to tingle might you think, "Hey, this isn't so good, is it?"
  • Also the dunes near the beach have tiger snakes in them. So when you come screaming out of the water to avoid a blue ring or a bluebottle (these are extremely poisonous and painful jellyfish) or a shark, and you stagger into the dunes for safety, chances are you'll get bitten by a dangerously poisonous snake up there. The water isn't safe, but neither is the land.
  • Stonefish and lionfish. both disguise themselves as rocks or pretty kelp. Both have extremely sharp pointy spikes on them that can pierce all the way through your flesh. The stonefish also injects you with a toxin that causes -- you guessed it -- muscle paralysis. The lionfish just ruins your day.


Karen said...

Jeez, overkill much? You are being very very careful, right?
yer Mom Kazza :-)

Sharp11Girl said...

I hope you found a discount supplier for full-body armor.