JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Death

Jellyfish Death picture

Jellyfish Death

Jellyfish is a marine animal which has about 200 types of different species. It comes in various sizes, colors and shapes. It has inhabited the oceans of the world for millions of years, and its population is said to be on the rise in the current times. Out of the 200 different species, 70 are said to have toxins which affect a human being when stung.

The jellyfish uses its tentacles to capture its prey, and these tentacles are equipped with stinging cells that can immobilise the prey. Jellyfish do not have a brain, and is not considered an aggressive creature. Most stings occur when the swimmer unknowingly brushes past a jellyfish in the water. Many of them are clear in color and hence they are very difficult to detect. The stinging is an instinctive response to any stimuli to the tentacles. Most of the venom found in jellyfish is not fatal, except that of the box jellyfish. It is considered to be the most deadly marine creature and cause death within minutes or seconds, depending on the maturity of the jellyfish and the severity of the stings. Many deaths have occurred through out the world by the sting of this deadly jellyfish.

In March 2003 a seven year old boy was swimming in the waters of Wongaling Beach in south of Cairns. Unfortunately he swam directly into a box jellyfish. He started screaming and when his grandfather dragged him out of the water, they found the sting marks all across his body. Immediately help was called and the ambulance officers administered the anti-venom. But the boy went into cardiac arrest and could not be saved. This tragedy could have been avoided if there was proper warning given. The months from October to May are dangerous, particularly in areas where there is no protective swimming enclosures. The box jellyfish has 60 long tentacles and has enough venom to kill 60 adult humans. The boy did not have a chance, and it was sad that this accident could not be prevented, by timely warning.

In April 2008 there was another tragic incident, this time in Thailand. Krabi on the Phuket island, is a popular beach resort and lot of tourists visit this place every year. Unfortunately a Swedish tourist was stung by a box jellyfish when he was swimming off the coast of Krabi, and died on the spot. Another death was also reported of a swedish girl, from a box jellyfish sting, at Koh Lanta, off the coast of Krabi. Previously in 2002 an Australian and a swiss tourist had also died from jellyfish stings in Phuketwan. Researchers at the Phuket Marine Biology Centre are suspecting that the type of jellyfish responsible for these deaths may not be the same variety of box jellyfish, as the ones in Australia. Certain jellyfish which were caught in mangrove traps at Nam Bor Bay in Phuket City, are of the Chirodropidae family. Different samples of the jellyfish which are caught in Phuket are being sent to Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Service to enlist their help in determining the type of jellyfish and how one can prevent such incidents.

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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