JellyFish Facts

Deadly Jellyfish

Deadly Jellyfish picture

Deadly Jellyfish

What makes any creature deadly? There are a number of factors to be taken into consideration, but when a creature is rated for the 'deadliness' factor the two prime factors are:
  • The number of people an ounce of the creature's venom can kill.
  • The length of time it takes for a person to die from the creature's venom after being bitten or stung.
The credit for being one of the 'deadliest' undoubtedly goes to the Sea Wasp, alias the Marine Stinger or Box Jellyfish. A sting from the Box jellyfish can result in cardiovascular collapse, in addition to respiratory failure and neuromuscular paralysis that can kill you. Medical intervention is absolutely essential as soon as you are stung by a Box jellyfish since the consequences can be fatal. Among the more dangerous jellyfish are the following:
  • Physalia physali is also known as Portuguese Man O' War, blue bubble, blue bottle, or man-of-war. Though this species is considered to be a jellyfish, it is actually a colony of four highly specialized polyps and isn't even a single organism. These polyps are attached to each other and play different roles just as different parts of a single body do. The individual polyps cannot survive independently, but only as an integrated whole. A man-of-war sting can be extremely painful for human beings and tend to leave red welts where the tentacles make contact with skin. The sting can also result in fever, shock, heart and respiratory problems, and in rare cases, even death. Victims usually require hospitalization to treat the effects of a man-of war sting.
  • Chironex fleckeri, also known as the box jellyfish, marine stinger, or sea wasp. This jellyfish belongs to the species Cubozoa and is considered one of the most dangerous to human beings. Its tentacles are covered with large amounts of venom containing nematocysts that get lodged in the skin. Nematocysts can inject venom into your flesh even when they are not attached to the jellyfish. A sting from a Chironex fleckeri can be excruciatingly painful and will often result in death. As a matter of fact, a Chironex fleckeri sting can kill 60 humans in a period of 3 minutes. However, you must remember that box jellyfish are actually an entire subspecies of jellyfish, of which Chironex fleckeri is only one. Not all species of box jellyfish are dangerous to humans.
  • Carukia barnesi is commonly known as Irukandji jellyfish. Irukandji jellyfish are classified as Cubozoans. This is undoubtedly among the extremely poisonous species of jellyfish. Symptoms of an Irukandji sting may include nausea, vomiting, cramps, high blood pressure, etc. The sting itself really only causes mild discomfort, however, the venom is slow-acting and acute symptoms show up only a few minutes after the sting. So far,there is no known antidote to the venom of the Irukandji jellyfish. Usually, victims have to be hospitalized and in some rare cases, people have been known to have died from Irukandji stings.
As you can see, jellyfish stings can react differently based upon the species they belong to.

Learn more about Jellyfish Stings and Jellyfish Safety

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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