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Poisonous Jellyfish

The Most Deadly Of All Creatures On The Planet: The Poisonous Jellyfish


When a poisonous jellyfish attacked a young girl in Queensland, Australia she thought she had gone blind, and, lucky for her she immediately fell unconscious.  Had she not, she would have endured the excruciating experience of a box jellyfish attack.  It is described as horribly intense pain, like a knife cutting into the entire surface of your body, but 10 times worse.

Her parents were scared to death and had to perform CPR while waiting for medical help. She did not revive until 2 days later in the hospital. The 10 year old girl did survive, but if there had not been some vinegar to on hand to treat her wounds, she would have died. She had dark colored patches of raw looking flesh over one entire leg and part of the other. The lovely little girl left the hospital on crutches with her entire leg wrapped in a cast.

Because of warming water temperatures spurred by global climate change, the season these killers are in proximity to humans has extended - it used to be 1.5 months of the year, now it is about 5 months. And they are slowly drifting farther south. Scientists say if the temperature drops by another 1/2 degree they will be a threat to swimmers along the heavily populated beaches of the Gold Coast.

In that same summer of 2009 in Australia, fifty people were treated in the hospital for attacks by the box jelly fish, or the smaller poisonous jellyfish, the Irukandji. This creature is no larger than a peanut, but it killed 2 people in 2002.

Another publicized 2009 attack befell a young man working at his dream job, being paid to live on Hamilton Island, blogging for the tourism industry.  His attacker was the Irukandji. He described the attack as like a bee sting on his arm, following by tingling in his hands and feet.  The unfortunate guy was taken to the hospital where he experienced tightness in the chest, a rise in blood pressure and fever, back ache and headache. He felt lucky that he survived, but he had to rethink the benefits of his previously blissful way of making a living.

Also in 2009, a scuba diver suffered egregious injuries after an encounter with a jellyfish, despite the fact that he had on protective diver’s gear. Back in 2006 after another young girl was killed, also in Queensland, a spokesperson for Surf Life Saving indicated that people can protect themselves from these killers by swimming within stinging enclosures and wearing protective skin diving suits. So much for that theory.  Not only did the suit fail to protect the man, but also the smaller Irukandji get through nets because it’s so tiny.

Some advice, if you go sunbathing in Australia, stick to sunbathing.  The fish’s poison is such a cruel way to die, that actor Will Smith in the movie Seven Pounds, used it’s venom to kill himself, feeling that he deserved the ultimate punishment because he had caused several deaths in a car accident.  He placed his pet box jellyfish in his bathtub, climbed in, and was immediately deceased.



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