TWO AUSTRALIAN FISHERMEN GET AIRLIFTED AFTER THEY WERE STUNG BY TINY, DEALDY JELLYFISH
I visited Australia about 15 years ago and was lucky enough to manage to visit Cairns, which is the easiest casual launching pad to scuba dive the Great Barriier Reef, an easy drive to the Daintree Rainforest, and the number one honeymoon destination for Japanese newlyweds. It is, in a word, gorgeous and amazing. But one strange thing at the time I was there was that all of the gorgeous beaches were completely empty. Why? Because of the deadly Box jellyfish. Just a minor touch of one is practically a death sentence. I though that was pretty disturbing. But now I’m learning about yet another kind of jellyfish that caused two fishermen to get airlifted just to save their lives.
IRUKANDJI JELLYFISH ARE TINY, NEARLY INVISIBLE AND IF THEY DON’T KILL YOU, CAN CAUSE PAIN FOR A YEAR
The two were fishing about 12 miles off the coast of Dundee Beach in the Northern Territory when they were stung by an Irukandji jellyfish a couple weeks ago. I’ve never even heard of these jellyfish before now, though I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s an endless number of deadly animals living on and around Australia. The Irukandji is one of the most venomous forms of life anywhere in the world. They’re nearly invisible so they’re hard to avoid if you even know they’re there. And a sting from one can induce what are called Irukandji syndrome, which could include headaches, nausea, severe pain, muscle cramps, even serious cardiac complications.
IRUKANDJI JELLYFISH TOXIN SO STRONG, THEY’RE ONE OF THE WORLD’S DEADLIEST ANIMALS
The Irukandji jellyfish are only a little larger than ¾ of an inch. So the fact they’re almost impossible to see makes them quite a hazard to encounter. The two fishermen had to be airlifted to receive medical assistance. Fortunately, both were released from the hospital after two days. The two are expected to make a full recovery, which is fortunate. Others who survive Irukandji stings can keep experiencing pain for up to a year afterwards. The venom delivered by these scary, tiny jellyfish hits victims in a similar way as tetrodotoxin (found in pufferfish and blue-ringed octopi). Both venoms stop proper nerve function to muscles.
In other words, your body is affected. And if that includes breathing and your heart, that’s a wrap.