Chills went down my spine and goose bumps tickled my insides as the mammoth creatures glared at me from my laptop screen. My search for Australian wonders had led me to some surprising results.
Disclaimer for the faint hearted: Hold your hearts. Be afraid, be VERY afraid!!!
1. Earth Worms
Size: 3-9 foot long.
Known to be the world’s largest worm – this beast is one which does not need legs to slither around you. They range from 3 feet to 9 feet long. It is very unusual for invertebrates to survive up till 10 years but this one seems immortal in insect terms, as many have the potential life of 10 long years.
The favor which this creepy crawly does to mankind is that it chooses to stay hidden most of the time. They are usually only visible when they are slithering in and out of their burrows. If you hear some rippling under Australian soil, you will know who it is. They are abundantly found in Gippsland in south-eastern Australia. You think I’m kidding? Go Google “Gippsland Earthworm”.
How big? You can find them with leg span of 1-foot across.
Acrophobic? Check off the fear of spiders now or tell yourself that you are about to give it a try, at least. An animal which is ‘supposedly’ a small creature knitting some cobwebs behind your doors or clinging from your roofs, is not that miniature in Australia. They can fit exactly on to the palm of your hand while you are asleep or just lay around in your drawer –BEWARE. Their bites can be fatal!
Not Ants, but Bull Ants.
Size: 0.5 – 2.0 inch long
As evident from the mighty name, expect them to be very daring and fearless. Just to clarify, they’re also called ‘bulldog’ ants. They can grow up to 40 mm and their extensively large bright eyes give them the spying ability of being able to track humans. They feed on plant juices and animal pray as well.
They exist in a diverse variety of over 90 species with their names indicating their behavior and life cycles. For example, the jumper category can even pounce at you with a painful sting if they see you as an intruder. They hunt alone by a lethal combination of venom, vision and ferocity. Stay alert for the giants of the ant world!
4. Procoptodon (Kangaroos)
Upon reading the word ‘kangaroos’, a picture of the Australian wilderness probably pops into your head. While kangaroos are native to Australia, and many can still be found there, many species have become extinct.
For example, the species named Procoptodon were known to stand up to almost 6 feet in height, and they weighed almost 230 kg. These short-faced giants were made to survive in the wild with horse’s hoof-like toes on each foot. Imagine them pick pocketing humans and running off back to the wild.
Wingspan: Above 3 feet.
Ever seen these dark knights hovering around your heads? They have the giant tendencies too. From what the name (mega-bats) indicates, they are commonly known as flying foxes. They are tropical animals but they exist in the Asian and Pacific Ocean areas, apart from Australia.
They reside in tropic areas because they like to feed on fruits and pollen. They even catch insects in mid-air but crashing down on spotted prey is what they do best. These giants may not be able to rule for long as nature is imposing threats to their survival.
Size: 3 inch in length.
From the mega world of Australia, the last specie is giant cockroaches. The most prominent of them all is the giant burrow cockroach. They happen to be the gang leaders in the creepy cockroach world. They do not have wings but they burrow down into the Australian grounds and live up to 10 years.
Moreover, these life-size roaches weigh about 35 grams. However they are a little less detested in comparison to their American relative.
Scared? I guess Australia is out of your bucket list!