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    Big Locust at Bay Village Tropical Retreat, Cairns, Australia

    Hairy Grass, Hungry Toads, Angry Locusts and Other Weird Australian Plagues

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    We all know Australia has stunning vistas and fascinating wildlife, but it is also a rather dangerous place - to put it gently.

    It actually seems as though the whole continent had been created by mischievous Mother Nature as a colossal prank on humankind.

    It's all very charming and great to look at… yet still very deathly. The oceans are swarming with killer jellyfish and sharks with razor-sharp teeth. The desert, being snake-and-scorpion turf, is covered by venomous plants. Elsewhere, even cute creatures such as the platypus and cuddly koala are equipped with toxic spurs and sharp claws.

    Worse yet, sometimes Mother Nature turns against the human inhabitants of Australia with sudden plague-like events that look like they've come straight out of the Bible's goriest chapters.

    Here is a quick compilation of some of "Straya's" most egregious nature-related cataclysms.

    Panic grass

    Just in: the northeastern Victorian town of Wangaratta is in the process of fighting an untamable sea of straw. A wispy, invasive tumbleweed known as "hairy panic" has started piling up in the streets and in front of houses (creating roof-high bales that block doors), and nothing seems to keep it at bay.

    While this weed is a familiar sight in Wangaratta, it has never been so resilient or appeared in such great numbers.

    Luckily, the city council said the risk of "panic balls" catching and spreading fire is relatively low.

    Cane toads

    This invasive amphibian has been ransacking the country's fields since the 1930s. But the situation really turned nasty in 2014, when the toads went on a hunger spree in the rural areas of North Australia.

    Scientists failed to stop them, and farmers had to try and save the little they could from the croaking horde.

    The really notable and strange thing is that Australia's badass deathly fauna cannot keep this bunch of toads in check.

    Field Mice

    So-called “field mice” have very few natural predators in Australia, which allows them to run free and unscathed and breed uncontrollably.
    So-called “field mice” have very few natural predators in Australia, which allows them to run free and unscathed and breed uncontrollably.

    Therefore, mouse invasions are pretty frequent on the continent.

    The most infamous one occurred in 1993, when half a billion field mice assaulted the south of the country, destroying 500,000 tons of wheat in the fields. The event was so massive that it was mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records.


    A classic straight from God's playbook. A particular species of locusts — native of Australia — are so violent and fertile that they have been simply christened as the "plague locust".

    They have been prone to invade the East of the country for centuries — the first significant plague was recorded in 1844, and the most recent one in 2010. Due to climate change, though, the frequency of their forays has increased over time. Damages to agriculture are usually in the range of millions of dollars.


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    mouse, weird, Infestation, weed, locust, plague, funny, nature, life, environment, animals, Australia
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