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Avoiding the Box Jellyfish in Australia

by Matt Rimer

Apr 18, 2015

© Gvision | Dreamstime

Safety

Australia is known for its dangerous animals, but none is more lethal than the box jellyfish. Not only is this creature the deadliest animal down under, but it is also the most dangerous marine animal in the world, claiming about 100 lives every year.

 

How to Avoid the Box Jellyfish

The box jellyfish is typically spotted along the northern shores of Australia in the wet season (October to May), with the largest creatures appearing at the end of this season. These larger creatures tend to be more dangerous than the smaller ones.

 

Jellyfish Warning in South Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia © Dilettantiquity | Flickr

Jellyfish Warning in South Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia © Dilettantiquity | Flickr

 

How to Spot the Creature

The box jellyfish is mostly transparent with a slight tint of blue. For this reason, they are incredibly hard to spot in the blue ocean water. The center of the box and the tentacles are usually easier to spot, particularly when the tentacles bunch.

 

What To Do if Stung

If the sting is bad enough, there might not be much a person can do. Some stings cause victims to go into cardiac arrest within just a few minutes. Less severe stings can cause the person to go into shock, leaving them unable to swim to shore. For this reason, it is imperative to swim with a partner. Additionally, many Australian beaches have jellyfish warning signs, underneath which there are often bottles of vinegar. Pouring this vinegar on the tentacle will allow it to be removed and for the flow of venom to cease.

 

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