JellyFish Facts

How to Avoid Jellyfish Stings

How to Avoid Jellyfish Stings picture

How to Avoid Jellyfish Stings

Jellyfish is a fascinating marine creature and there are two thousand recorded species in the world. Out of these only a hundred are considered to have venom which is dangerous to a human being. All jellyfish have tentacles which hang from the edge of their bell shaped bodies. These tentacles have thousands of stinging cells called nematocysts, which inject venom. Although equipped with such a deadly arsenal the jellyfish is not an aggressive creature. In fact it does not have a brain and has only certain basic reflexes to different stimuli. Also most of the jellyfish depend on the current in the water and tide, for propulsion, and mainly they just float near the surface of the water.

To prevent being stung by a jellyfish, the best option would be not to swim in waters which are known to have jellyfish. The main beaches always display notices and warnings whenever jellyfish are sighted. Also many life guard towers will hoist a purple flag, which means that there are dangerous marine creatures in the vicinity, which includes jellyfish. So always keep a lookout for these signs and warnings and avoid swimming in deserted or out-of-the-way beaches. If you are taking a beach vacation, it is better to familiarise yourself with the variety of jellyfish found in that area and what are the months they are most active. Climate affects the movement of different jellyfish and you might find a sudden increase in their number due to warm weather.

You must also be aware that the most dangerous type of jellyfish is the Box jelly and many of its type are found in the waters near the beaches of Northern Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. These jellies are aggressive and have a brain and known to move very fast. Beaches which are marked to have their population should be avoided at all cost.

The stinging cells of the jellyfish are in the shape of tiny harpoons. These cells have a firing mechanism so that they get embedded in the flesh of the prey. A wet-suit which is at least 3mm thick will prevent these toxic barbs from penetrating the skin. Although this is not a sure way of avoiding a jellyfish sting, it definitely reduces the chances of getting stung. A wet-suit also will not protect your face and hands. There are certain jellyfish which are very tiny and because of their translucent color they can hardly be seen. These are known as the sea lice and can get in-between the suit and the skin, because of their tiny size.

A jellyfish stings, when it comes in contact with anything, which it takes to be a living creature. This it judges by the presence of certain chemicals on the thing it touches. There is a waterproof lotion available, which prevents these skin chemicals from being noticed by the jellyfish. Safe Sea is a lotion which will prevent jellyfish stings and because it is waterproof you can swim with it for at least an hour.

Find jellyfish sting protection and relief products on Ebay (best price) or your local diving supply store.

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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