JellyFish Facts

About Jellyfish Stings

About Jellyfish Stings picture

About Jellyfish Stings

Jellyfish are free-swimming, non-violent glutinous marine animals that are surrounded by tentacles, the home of the stinging cells known as nematocysts. Nematocysts are sac like features that cover the tentacles and are filled with venom that normally cause the irritation or pain when someone is stung. Jellyfish cannot be categorized really as fish but are more of sea creatures found in deep and shallow waters of oceans. They survive on both salt and fresh water and are available in different sizes and shapes.

Note that all Jellyfish sting using nematocysts but not all are poisonous to cause life threatening effect on humans. Coming in contact with a jellyfish in itself is quite uncomfortable and some people may need medical assistance. Contrary to a very widespread belief, jellyfish doesn't sting consciously but the barbs will be released automatically when something comes in contact with the jellyfish cells.

Although not all jellyfish stings are fatal, allergic reaction occurs to almost anybody who is stung by a jellyfish, a reaction known as anaphalaxis. Be however cautious of certain species such as the cubozoa, or Box Jellyfish, as they are known to contain fatal stings. Whether it is life threatening or not, a jellyfish sting requires proper medical attention whereby the treatment will be administered depending on the type of jellyfish that stung and the kind of water they're in.

The stinging process takes place when an object (person, animal) comes into contact with a jellyfish. The contact triggers in the nematocysts some sort of fire which pressurize tentacles to release the venom. A single nematocyst can contain thousands of stingers which will fire and inject venom. While swimming in water, you can be stung even by a floating tentacle.

Jellyfish stings happen as a defense mechanism to them whereby their sense of touch cells found outside the on their skin are stimulated and send signals through their nerve rings resulting with a defensive sting. The usual symptoms of jellyfish stings include welts and redness, a burning sensation, and sometimes the lymph nodes can swell.

If you happen to be stung by a jellyfish, you need to alert the lifeguard who is on duty immediately. Lifeguard staff are trained in first aid hence will administer the first medical aid before you seek further assistance. Also, you can brush off tentacles, but using an object and not bare hands unless you have gloves on. Put some vinegar on the wound to immobilize the stinging cells and if vinegar isn't readily available, you can apply a saline solution or sea water. To ease pain, you can patch the affected area with ice.

Read more about Jellyfish Stings to have a further understanding on jellyfish stings, how they occurs, symptoms, and precautions.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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