Australia’s perilously long list of things that will try to kill you just got longer. The deadly garden slug (A.K.A. the common garden slug) is the latest addition to the lineup, joining the ranks of the jellyfish, hermit crabs, gimpie gimpie plant, platypus, cane toads, snakes, sharks, spiders, crocs, that one Steve Irwin stingray and thousands of miles of desert. From the NYT:
An Australian man has been hospitalized for more than a month in serious condition as a result of eating two garden slugs on a dare, according to Australian news media and ProMED , an online service that tracks disease outbreaks.
The 21-year-old Sydney man apparently contracted a rat lungworm parasite from the slugs, which pick it up from rodent droppings. The parasite, a nematode called Angiostrongylus cantonensis, can cause fatal brain swelling […]
“We hope this will help to remind others to avoid eating raw slugs,” the moderator, Eskild Petersen, said.
Duly noted; we intend to cut back severely on the consumption of underdone slugs. Nevertheless, Via Meadia warmly recommends Australia as a great place to visit. As long as something doesn’t kill you, you will have a great time. Kids enjoy it too and over the years an assortment of Mead nephews has stalked wild kangaroos, swum with the sharks on the Barrier Reef and dodged flying foxes on the fringes of the rain forest. We have every intention of going back for more.But given Australia’s elevated exchange rate these days, it may be time to stick closer to home. Prolific Via Meadia intern and proud Canadian Tom Hunt recommends the Great White North, where (he claims) the exchange rate is less brutal and travelers only have to worry about bears, wolves, revenge minded United Empire Loyalists, and the tar sands.