More light blogging this weekend.

Due in part to more comment system aggro. It never rains but it pours, and incidentally it’s been doing quite a great deal of that here as well across large parts of the eastern states. Needless to say, Australia being Australia, this is a reason for something horrible to emerge and try to sting people to death.

This week’s deluge has produced an unwelcome side effect at some popular bayside beaches – a potentially deadly threat lurking in the shallows.

Queensland Museum ichthyologist Jeff Johnson said there had been a noticeable increase in stonefish sightings around coastal areas in the southeast corner in the wake of the rain.

Go ahead. Make my day.

This ugly little critter goes by such less than lovely names as Synanceia verrucosa and S. horrida (yes, really), and just in case you were wondering, yes they are the most venomous fish in the world. Of course – this is Australia we’re talking about, never one to come second in things-that-want-us-all-dead.

Stonefish are so well camouflaged they can go completely unnoticed, until the moment they are stepped upon. They then inject the victim with a toxin that causes crippling pain and, in extreme cases, death.

Mr Johnson said the stonefish were more likely to be found on beaches “where there will be children paddling and people swimming and so on”.

“They’re quite sluggish, they sit on the bottom and if they’re disturbed they’ll erect their dorsal spines and if you’re walking around in bare feet, you’re likely to cop a number of those spines.

“They have venom sacs at their base and, if you stand on them, the venom sacs are depressed and the toxin shoots up the spine and into the wound.

“It causes excruciating pain – excruciating is probably the best adjective I could use.”

And occasionally it kills you. Happily the nearest one to me is probably in Melbourne Aquarium. That just leaves the snakes and the spiders and everything else to worry about.

I’ll see if I can blog on something less horrifying tomorrow if nothing has crawled out of the toilet and kil-AAAAAAAAAAAARGH get it off me, get it offffffff…..

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Posted on October 16, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on More light blogging this weekend..

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