This post is brought to you by Tim’s imagination, as inspired by the Australian Venom Research Unit: making people scared of Australia since… well, probably since they began.
When you’re on the cusp of a big adventure, as all you adventurous people know, you tend to think far too much about what life is going to be like once you get there. You may be like me, and as you lie in bed at night, you envision yourself already at your destination, talking with locals, oohing and aahing (side note: spellcheck accepted oohing but not aahing) at all the novel sights, and so on. Typically, in the weeks leading up to any kind of big event, I find myself lying awake progressively later and later into the night, my mind racing with all the exciting possibilities.
In my curious and excited state, I figured it might help to do some research on Australia – you know, answer some of those burning questions in advance, to put my mind at ease. Maybe then I’d be able to rest easy. It was armed with this good intention, and a healthy dose of Google, that I ended up finding out about a very interesting organization called the Australian Venom Research Unit (linked above – I recommend the For Kids section!). The AVRU, which is some kind of division of the University of Melbourne, has tasked itself with categorizing, describing, and teaching Australian residents and potential visitors (i.e. ignoramuses) about the abundance of deadly or dangerous creatures in its home country. And there are plenty to talk about.
Did you know that of the top 11 snakes in terms of potency of venom, Australia has all 11 (according to AVRU)? Australians always make light of the dangerous creatures in their country, but AVRU seems to indicate that there is a legitimate cause for concern, particularly if you live in isolated, rural, semi-rural, semi-urban, or urban areas, or if you happen to spend time in or near water, or on land, or in trees. Or in the sky, for that matter.
For your (and my own) entertainment, I have compiled a list of images below that demonstrate what I expect our Australian experience to be like, based on my recent discoveries. When you wish us bon voyage, keep these images in mind, all of which – according to my research – should be fairly realistic: