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Greece, Poisonous and Venomous Spiders, Snakes and Insects, and Deadly Sea Creatures.
Venomous snakes and poisonous spiders in Greece
Venomous snakes, poisonous spiders, biting insects, and dangerous animals in Greece can turn an adventure vacation into the vacation from hell. Greece is an astoundingly beautiful country, but there are occasionally some dangers that can lurk in dark corners, on the beach, or near the home and are not in the glossy brochures.
Greece has many different spiders, but none are venomous or poisonous. Spiders in Greece are typically small and not dangerous. They are usually found in the wooded and rural areas as well as the odd one in the hotel room.
BUT.... There are 23 types of snake found on the Islands of Greece.
Most of the Greek snakes are harmless, but they will bite a person if they feel threatened. Usually tourists will inadvertently step on a snake and this is when the snake will retaliate. Summer is the worst time for tourists whom are afraid of snakes as breeding and basking snakes are abundant.
Summer is breeding season, and if a mother snake with newborn baby snakes is approached, she will defend her litter vigorously. Deep sea fishing trips and scuba diving trips can be arranged in Greece, but wary of sea snakes.
The Ohia snake is also referred to as the Adder snake and is classed as a venomous viper. This is the only venomous snake in Greece. Growing to between 2 - 3 feet ( 60 - 90 cm ) long, this snake was responsible for a five year old boys death in Britain in 1985 and a woman in Germany in 2004.
This viper is a common viper snake and is not an endangered species. The people of Greece think that any good snake is a dead snake. They can be seen swerving their cars from one side of the road to the other in order to run over a snake, not to avoid it.
Bites from this venomous snake are rare, and the venom is not usually potent enough to cause death. But fevers, nausea, headaches and vomiting as well as diarrhea, can ruin a vacation. If a person is bitten, seek medical assistance immediately, do not take any chances.
There are over 150 Brown Bears in Greece. They are in two separate areas, one in Rodopi Mountain Range and the other on the Pindos Mountain Range. Bears have an unpredictable temperament but do not attack humans as a food source.
But they will attack if they have been frightened or feel threatened. Sows with cubs possess the greatest threat as with any animal they are only protecting their children. There have been no reported brown bear attacks in Greece in recent years, so keep it that way. If venturing into the above mentioned mountain ranges, take care and only go with a guide if possible.
If you see or hear a bear, running away may help, do not wait around to take pictures on your mobile phone. Some say that cowering down before the bear, in a dominated way, may improve chances of survival.
The Humble Man Eating Mosquito
Greece during the summer months, is where most of the worlds population of mosquitoes seem to head for. Described as the playboy refuge for mosquitoes, Greece is inundated with them during summer.
The Greek mosquitoes do not carry Malaria, but a possible parasite called Blow Fly larvae on their legs, which are ugly but harmless. Take precautions such as mosquito repellents away with you to avoid a billion biting insects in your room during your stay.
Deadly Sea Creatures Around Greece
The beautiful warm oceans around Greece can hold some foreboding secrets. Swimming may never be the same again.
Always swim on or near a regulated beach.
These little beauties have very sharp teeth and can cause dangerous bites in humans. It is only the larger Moray Eels that have been known to bite swimmers. They can usually be found along reefs and wait in cracks and crevices for their prey to wonder by before lunging at them.
Morays are usually shy and will only attack if provoked. If an octopus is seen in the water, be warned, there is usually a Moral eel not far behind. Certain Morays may be venomous, but this has not been scientifically proven, scuba divers beware.
Many scuba divers and deep sea fishering men have lost fingers to this fish. In many areas, hand feeding these little monsters by divers has been banned. Even in death, the Moray eel will not release it's grip on its victim, even if you cut the head off. If a swimmer is bitten, seek medical attention immediately, the wound may cause severe tissue loss and leave deep scars.
These little fish can grow to be approximately 37cm in length. They bury themselves in the sandy shallow waters with just their eyes showing waiting for shrimp or small fish to swim by.
Most human injuries are caused when a person stands on this fish. Weever fish have very sharp dorsal spikes, and these are what causes the human injuries. The spikes will go through the wet suit or flipper of scuba diving equipment which can be on hire.
After a Weever sting, a person may become nauseous, feel numbness, have headaches, vomiting and abdominal cramps. Severe sting reactions include abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, unconsciousness, gangrene and a high level of tissue degeneration. If in doubt as to what has caused an injury, always seek medical advice.
Sting Rays are actually related to sharks, and they have either one or two very sharp 35cm long sharp barbs on the tip of their tails. Used only for self defense purposes, these barbs cause some horrific injuries and even death to humans.
The barb does have venom secreted within a skin pouch which is delivered when the barb makes contact. The barb itself breaks off into the victims flesh, needing surgery to remove it. Deter shallow water Sting Rays by shuffling along the sea bed, this will cause any hidden Rays to swim away.
Legendary crocodile hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a sting ray in 2006. Apparently he was 'stabbed' hundreds of times by one sting ray.
Portuguese Man 'O' War
This airbag of a jellyfish is an excellent hunter and provides Australia with over 10,000 stung humans every year. These jelly fish travel almost everywhere around the world, blown by the winds, and are usually found in groups of over 1000.
Their tentacles can grow to over 165 feet (50 meters) but are usually only 30 feet (10 meters) in length.
Each tentacle has thousands of venom releasing nematocysts, usually to kill small fish before devouring them. Dead Portuguese man 'o' wars and cut off tentacles can still deliver the same amount of venom as a live specimen.
The stinging sensation will leave welts on the skin which can last for several days. More intense pain can be delivered as the venom travels through the blood system. More serious effects include fever, interference with lung and heart function as well as shock and possible death.
Keep clear of any jelly fish in all tropical waters, just in case. Do not pee on a person who has been stung by a jelly fish. It has not been deduced to work scientifically, it can cause embarrassment and also an arrest for indecent exposure.
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Greece is a fantastic and awesome country. Serious injury is not a frequent occurrence, but it can and does happen. Always be careful when abroad and do not deem it insignificant if you are bitten or stung. Always seek medical help.