The continent has most of the world's most poisonous snakes, not only on land but in the ocean. It has the world's largest crocodiles, and one can be devoured by one in or near the ocean or a river, and then out in the surf great white sharks abound. And I haven't even mentioned box jellyfish, blue ring octopi, stone fish, or the red backed and funnel spiders.

If ever a land was saying "Go away, people," it's Australia.

Add to all this that Sydney, strangely, is one of the most expensive cities on Earth and that you're so far from the United States (where everyone wants to go) and why would anyone live there, much less WANT to live there?

So, why are there people in Australia? What explains it?

Yes, and of course I'm being tongue in cheek. I'm sure there are many reasons to risk the many ways to die there.

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They're $15 for a pack of 30 - I have this on good, Sydneyite authority, who has reduced her death sticks to 7 per day.

@Melvinotis - You are most welcome, any time - love to show you around - unlikely to see anything poisonous, just don't tell Unseen that.

@Bren - You are most welcome too - there are heaps more dangerous things that Australians should talk about - there is the Tasmanian Devil, which will rip your arm off,and chew at your feet, there is also the platypus, which looks just lovely and benign, but has poisoness hooks on it's hind legs. I am sure I can think up some more.

@Unseen - Australia has stopped taking in people in your line of work over a couple of hundred years ago, sorry.

What line of work are you imagining I'm in, Suzanne?

And thanks for adding to my list of reasons to leave Australia before you die an agonizing (snakes, spiders, platypi) or horrific (crocodiles, sharks) death.

RE: "What line of work are you imagining I'm in, Suzanne?"

The word, "instigator" springs to mind --

What Suzanne was subtly implying is that Unseen's 'line of work' was comparable to the 'line of work' of the convicts he states were the country's original immigrant populace around 200 years ago.

And I laughed - I love a bit of subtlety :)

Isn't it Australia the place that has large poisonous toads and overrun by large rabbits (maybe hares) or am I thinking of somewhere else?

Rabbits don't attack people directly, but they take a toll on agriculture and they shoulder out some of the natural fauna. And then, of course, in the spirit of "If something fails, just try harder until it succeeds" some geniuses, seeing how badly the non-native rabbit was hurting the country, had the bright idea to introduce non-native predators like foxes and cats, who normally prey on rabbits in Europe. However, the relatively slower and less wary native marsupials in the same size range turned out to be easier pickin's than the nervous and fleet rabbits, so these introduced predators just made matters worse. Cats, I might add, are crack bird hunters, so Australlia's birds ended up on their menu as well.*

I believe cane toads (to which I believe you refer) are another introduced species. Their natural home is northern South America. They are venomous, but rarely kill humans. You probably have to react allergically to their venom the way some people react to bee stings.

* Come to think of it, cats probably arrived along with the British as pets, and were likely not introduced specifically to prey on rabbits. 

RE: "Rabbits don't attack people directly" - so YOU say --

And then there's the famous aquatic rabbit attack on Jimmy Carter.

"they would never approach a person threateningly"? He was looking for a place to hide from the dogs, for cryin' out loud! I'm surprised the Secret Service didn't take him out with a rocket launcher.

Well now... that's an optomistic view to be taking. Step into my office and our house rabbit may offer some evidence to the contrary. ;)


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