JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Sting Deadly

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Jellyfish Sting Deadly

Out of the two thousand known species of jellyfish, about one hundred of them are considered deadly. The venom of these hundred types of jellyfish is highly toxic and can either cause death or a severe reaction in the body of the person who is stung. The differences in the reaction is due to the different level of toxicity of the venom, in each type of jellyfish.

The most deadly type of jellyfish known to man is the Box jellyfish. It is so named, because its body is more in the shape of a cube than the usual dome bell. The scientific name of the box jelly is Chironex fleckeri, and it is also known as the sea wasp or the marine stinger. This jellyfish has about 60 tentacles and they can grow up to 15 feet long. These tentacles have numerous deadly venomous stinger cells called nematocysts. These tentacles are used by the box jelly to find prey and kill it instantly, so that the trashing of a dying creature does not cause any injury to it. On a human this venom can cause death within minutes by way of cardiac arrest, respiratory paralysis or neuromuscular paralysis which results in the person drowning. Even a single sting is known to cause death within a short time. These jellies are mostly found in the waters near Queensland in Australia, and extending in the north direction up to Malaya.

Another type of the box jellyfish is the Tripedalia cystophora which is a bizarre jellyfish having four brains and twenty-four eyes. This jelly is also extremely venomous and its venom is similar to the Chironex fleckeri.

Carukua barnesi or the Irukandji jellyfish is another dangerously toxic jelly found in waters of northern Australia, from Exmouth to Gladstone. This jelly also is a close relative of the box, and causes death if the sting is not treated quickly. This jelly is very hard to detect as its bell measures only 25mm in diameter. Its sting also, initially is very mild, and the serious symptoms take about five minutes to set in. The serious symptoms include pain in various parts of the body, nausea and difficulty in breathing. As these symptoms appear after a lapse of a few minutes, it can be too late to save the person. These symptoms collectively is called Irukandji syndrome. There is a rapid increase in the blood pressure and also the rate of the heart beat goes up dramatically. One of the unusual feature of this syndrome is that most people feel an impending doom and think that they are going to die.

The jellyfish called Stomolophus nomurai, is huge and also extremely venomous. It's bell measures about one and a half meters in diameter, and it can weigh more than 200 kilograms. It is mainly found in the waters between South Korea and China, and their population seems to be growing. Their venom causes a pulmonary oedema and the person can die within a day. Up to now eight deaths from this jellyfish sting, have been published.

Learn more about Jellyfish Stings, Jellyfish Sting Safety and Jellyfish Species

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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