JellyFish Facts

Australian Jellyfish

Australian Jellyfish picture

Australian Jellyfish

Jellyfish are found in all the marine waters of the world and waters that surround Australia are no different. There are many species of jellyfish that inhabit the Australian waters and following are some of the most commonly found ones.

Blue Bottle Jellyfish (Physalia physali): What is known as the blue bottle jellyfish, or blue bubble, in and around Australia is commonly known as the Portuguese Man of War elsewhere in the world. Its color is a translucent purplish-blue and its appearance is that of a Portuguese battleship with a sail. The blue bottle jellyfish is actually not classified as a jellyfish even though it appears to be one. The Blue Bubble is a colony of four separate polyps that function as different body parts of the same organism. Each polyp performs a highly specialized function that is required to keep the organism alive. The Blue Bottle jellyfish has a bell that is filled with gas and can be as long as 10 inches in diameter. Under the bell are the tentacles of the blue bottle, which can extend up to 60 feet in length.

The sting of the blue bottle jellyfish tends to be extremely painful. It leaves a red welt, as well as a strong burning sensation and shooting pains. Other symptoms of a blue bottle sting include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headache, fever, etc.

Irukandji (Carukia Barnesi): This jellyfish is mainly found near the waters around Queensland, Australia and is among the most poisonous jellyfish in the world. While there may be topical symptoms from an Irukandji sting, the more severe symptoms only appear after a considerable lapse of time. In fact, ubtil recently, the symptoms were not even associated with the sting. Symptoms caused by an Irukandji sting include cramps, vomiting, nausea, rise in blood pressure, etc. There is no known antidote to the venom of the Irukandji sting. Victims of an Irukandji sting should be provided immediate medical attention, since, left untreated, an Irukandji sting can cause death.

Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri): This species of jellyfish is also known as the sew wasp and the marine stinger. It is the deadliest jellyfish in the world, and amongst the most venomous creatures in all animal kingdom. Recent discoveries have shown that the box jellyfish is not just a species of the jellyfish, but a subspecies in itself. There are many different types of box jellyfish and not all of them are poisonous. But, the ones that are poisonous can be extremely dangerous.

A box jellyfish sting can be excruciating in nature as the nematocysts on the tentacles of the box jellyfish dig deep into the human skin and flesh. The venom of the box jellyfish is so powerful that the venom in one sting is sufficient to kill 60 human beings in under 3 minutes. The waters around Australia that are inhabited by box jellyfish are rendered even more dangerous by the detached floating tentacles of box jellyfish. Even when they are not attached to the jellyfish, the nematocysts in the tentacles will get activated when they come in contact with human flesh.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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