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The Box Jellyfish - This may save your life or someone else

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The Box Jellyfish - This may save your life or someone else

Unread postby Max ADU » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:28 pm

Did you know?

The Box Jellyfish ~ the Sea Wasp
The Australian box jellyfish is normally found around tropical river mouths, estuaries and creeks They are mainly seen on the northern coast of Queensland alongside the Great Barrier Reef.

The extremely poisonous
box jellyfish is present in Australia's northern oceans all year round. The most dangerous period is from November to April, which the locals called "the wet season".

The Australian box jellyfish (Chironex Fleckeri) is claimed to be the most venomous marine animal known to mankind. Its sting is often fatal and is responsible for more then 70 deaths in Australia. This is more than snakes, sharks or Salt Water Crocodiles.

What does this brainless creature look like?
A fully grown box jellyfish
measures up to 20cm along each box side (or 30 cm in diameter). The tentacles can grow up to 3 meters in length. The box jellyfish weight can reach 2 kg.

Box jellyfish are transparent and pale blue in colour, which makes them pretty much invisible in the water and dangerous to swimmers.

Unlike other jellyfish that drift with the tides, the box jellyfish propels itself forward in a jet-like motion and can reach speeds of three to four knots (1.5 to 2 metres per second.)

They can have up to 5,000 stinging cells. The stinging cells are only activated by contact with certain chemicals on the surface of fish, shellfish and humans.

What you can expect if you get stung

Unless treated immediately,
you have virtually no chance of surviving the venomous sting.

Once stung, the you will experience excruciating and overwhelming pain that can immediately send you into shock.

You will experience cardiac arrest within minutes and necrosis of the affected tissue (meaning it gets eaten away). If the you are swimming alone you will probably drown. People swimming alone rarely make it back to shore on their own.

This is another reason never to go swimming alone.

What to do if stung
The most important thing to do first is get out of the water.

It is very important to inactivate the remaining stinging cells to prevent any further stinging.

Many popular Australian beaches where box jellyfish are present will even have a bottle of vinegar stored on the beach next to the warning signs. If you used the vinegar please remember to replace it later as it may save someone else.

Pour the vinegar over the tentacles (soak for at least 30 seconds). Do not attempt to remove any tentacles before this as you will only activate more stinging cells causing more venom to be released..

 ! Max ADU wrote:
Removal of additional tentacles is usually to be done with a towel or gloved hand, to prevent secondary stinging.

Tentacles will still sting if separated from the bell and even after the creature is dead.

  • Avoid swimming in known areas where box jellyfish are. If you see a warning sign, take it seriously... your life may at risk.
  • Swim in Jellyfish netted areas
  • Wear an approved stinger swim suit. Wearing pantyhose or full body lycra suits (both by women and men) is an effective protection against box jellyfish stings.
  • Or become a turtle because they are not affected by box jellyfish stings They eat them :D .
 ! Max ADU wrote:
The Internet contains as much bad information and advice as there is good. While I have tried to provide you with good information to use, please consult with your own doctor or other qualified health-care professional before following anything on the Internet concerning health issues. Better safe than sorry.
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