M – MEL GIBSON
Australia is a wonderfully multicultural country, and everyone generally gets along famously regardless of race, creed or religion, which is why Mel lives in California. Also MAGPIES: Magpies, says Gareth, have a bewildering array of calls ranging from a lyrical trill to “Dial-up Modem” and the potentially lethal “Vehicle Reversing”. Etymologists believe that the song of the Magpie has its origins in the phrase ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’.
N – NEW ZEALANDERS
Only dangerous when losing at rugby: especially to Australia. Also NUCLEAR BLAST SITE – Nick says that according to a very believable rumour, the Aum Shinrikyo death cult (which was responsible for the Tokyo metro sarin gas attack), detonated a nuclear device somewhere in the Western Desert. That’s a Nuclear Blast in the desert!
O – OCTOPUS, BLUE RING
This adorable little octopus, no bigger than a Hello Kitty baby-wipe, lives in tide pools and coral reefs and is cuter than a kitten in ear-muffs. Oh, and its venom is 10,000-times more toxic than cyanide. It exhibits bright blue rings when agitated, and bites when it feels threatened. There is no anti-venom. Monika’s advice: don't go poking anything on the beach that has bright, blue rings (or kittens in ear-muffs – just to be on the safe side).
P – POMS
Given that a couple of the panel are Poms, there was some disagreement about the ‘bastards’ part, but general agreement on the ‘whinging’.
Q – QUEENSLANDERS
Pauline Hanson. 'nuff said.
R – RIPS
Dangerous currents that can drag away even the strongest of swimmers. Amy says the way out of them is to swim diagonally (in the direction of the beach presumably). Also ROAD TRAIN - Imagine a 200-tonne articulated lorry, pulling not one but three trailers, travelling at 100 km/h in your direction on an empty desert road. Pulling over is more than just a matter of courtesy.
S – SPIDERS
FUNNELWEBS are eight-legged skinheads who live in holes in the ground and will kill you as soon as look at you. They live in the city as well as the country, and can even survive for two days underwater. Do not try to put one in a matchbox or pull its legs off. Do shake your shoes out before putting them on. Also watch out for HUNTSMEN SPIDERS (Amy: They’re huge, and they jump!). WHITETAILS will make your leg swell up like a doner kebab on a spit. RED BACKS hurt like hell but aren’t usually lethal. The DUNNY SPIDER makes its home in toilets. All of the above species are only poisonous to primates. Humans are the only primates in Australia.
Introduction | A-F | G-L | M-S | T-Z