JellyFish Facts

Stinging Jellyfish

Stinging Jellyfish picture

Stinging Jellyfish

Most species of jellyfish are capable of stinging as they use stingers to procure food and protect themselves. In most cases, these stings are completely harmless to humans due to the low toxicity levels. However, a number of jellyfish stings are known to cause a lot of pain, discomfort and in some cases, even death. It is important to know the most common jellyfish species and seek to avoid them.

  • Box Jellyfish: This is not a single species, but a sub group that contains a number of similar jellyfish. Not all species of box jellyfish are dangerous to humans, but Chironex fleckeri, one of the species, is considered the most dangerous stinging jellyfish. Its venom can cause an almost instant death in human. It is mostly found in waters surrounding Australia.
  • Irukandji Jellyfish: Irukandji jellyfish or Carukia Barnesi or Malo Kingi, also found in Australian waters near Queensland, is considered capable of causing death is medical attention is not sought immediately. The location of the sting may be immediately painful, but the internal symptoms can be delayed by 20-30 minutes giving the illusion of not being connected with the sting.
  • Portuguese Man of War: This is not really a jellyfish. It is in fact a colony of four separate polyps that serve different functions and act like different body parts of a single organism. They can deliver a powerful sting that can be very painful and may even lead to death if not treated immediately.
  • Sea Nettle: These are also found around the waters of Australia and while a single sting may not cause drastic side effects in a humans, they usually travel in large swarms and multiple stings can lead to severe symptoms that need immediate medical attention.
  • Moon Jellyfish: Aurelia Aurita is one of the species of the Aurelia genus and its sting is known to be quite powerful. They are mostly found in the Pacific, Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans.
  • Purple Stripped Jellyfish: Mostly found around the coasts of California, Chrysaora colorata is also known to be a moderate stinger. While stings from these species are not known to cause death, they can be extremely painful.
  • Lion's Mane: Lion's Mane or Cyanea capillat or winter jelly is found during the coldest month in the coldest water. Their stings are also not capable of causing human deaths, but can cause an itchy rash and mild burning sensation.
  • Mauve Stingers: These jellyfish are also called Pelagia Noctiluca, which is derived from Greek words 'pelagia' which means 'of the sea', 'nocti' meaning 'night' and 'luca' meaning 'light'. This name provides the main characteristic of the jellyfish which is that they glow in the darkness of the night. These species are known to inhabit the Mediterranean Sea and have been spotted near Hawaii and Northern Ireland as well. Their sting is also considered moderate and does not significantly harm humans, but these species too are known to live in swarms which can be as large are a billion jellyfish and multiple stings may be dangerous to humans.
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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