The ocean is deep, dark and mysterious.
If you venture into Australia’s ocean pools it won’t be long before you see all kinds of wildlife that flow in with the tide. Usually, that’s a good news day and gives you a delightful ‘at-oneness with nature’ vibe. Sometimes, however, you’ll prefer to be less not alone. Nature ain’t always pleasant.
So here are a few tales of what you might happen across.
1 – Whales
You’d have had to have been on a serious bender to not notice this carcass lodged up the end of the pool during your morning swim. Newport’s a nice little spot (I shudder to imagine the power of the wave that tossed this baby in one night) with a nice little ocean pool. Thank goodness it was only a little one.
Chances of coming across such an animal: Fairly remote.
Potential for you if you do: Catastrophic.
2 – Jellyfish
Australian waters boast some of the most deadly jellyfish known. The kind that spell cactus for you in under 30 minutes.
However, they’re all in north Queensland, so it’s highly unlikely you’re going to run into one down NSW way. Unless he’s lost. I suppose that could happen.
Nevertheless, any jellyfish is unwelcome as many of them have little stingers and when they come into contact with your face, or arms, or rippling torso, it bloody hurts. And I speak from experience.
Chances of coming across a jellyfish: In river pools, at certain tides, likely.
Potential for you if you do: Anything from mild discomfit to screaming agony.
3 – Sharks
Even if it’s a little one, I think you’d know what you’d do if you turned up at an ocean pool – no matter how sublime – and some local casually remarked, ‘Oh, there’s a shark in there today.’
Yes, I know there are only a few species that eat people but they’ve all got teeth and the thought of a shark – even a nice, little one – having a snap at my fingers, or toes or testicles isn’t something I wish to carry with me on my morning swim.
Chances of coming across a shark: Very rare.
Potential for you, if you do: Agony; blood-loss; will probably be a while before you go in the water again.
4 – Blue-ringed Octopus
I really want to see one of these fellows. Not get bitten by one as they possess enough poison to kill over 20 adult men and there’s no antidote. But they are so beautiful.
And apparently they’re meant to be all over the place. But I’ve swum in over 30 ocean pools and never seen one. I go looking for them now.
Chances of coming across a Blue ring Octopus: Rare (unfortunately, IMO)
Potential for you, if you do: Death by asphyxiation. Nice.