Box Jellyfish are more deadly than we can imagine

Jellyfish are more deadly than we can imagine

Among the world’s public health problems, jellyfish stings may seem trivial, even if you affect millions of people each year only a few dozen die. But the figure can be much higher because many deaths may not be recorded. Locals in the Philippines simply take risk and misfortune and bury their dead without giving part of the cause of death. A problem that could be much more significant than you can ever believe in many coastal areas in the world with few resources.

Cubomedusas, a species of jellyfish that inhabits Australia, the Philippines, and other tropical areas, are famous for the catastrophic effects of their venom, very dangerous to humans. These are able to stop the heart in just 5 minutes.

Box Jellyfish

Box jellyfish

The sea ​​wasp or box jellyfish is a species of jellyfish in the family Chirodropidae .

It mainly inhabits Australian coastal waters . It is considered the deadliest living creature on the planet. 

The sea wasp is a large jellyfish and from it come 5000 tentacles approximately 80 cm long.

It’s translucent and glows in the dark.

It can reach the size of a deadly mole balloon, with tentacles up to 80 cm long, each with 5 billion hive cells (cnidocytes) that can inject a deadly poison. When the tentacles come into contact with the skin it is extremely painful, burning, and small cramps are felt that prevent normal movement in the contact area. At the time of first contact the pain is particularly severe with an average duration of 12 hours, however it can persist for up to 48 hours.

The poison enters the bloodstream directly and, depending on the person’s weight and the amount of poison inoculated, can cause shock and cardiac arrest.

The small body of the sea wasp is less aggressive than its tentacles, which can measure up to three meters in length; each tentacle is covered by stinging cells called cnidocytes.

The sea wasp, also known as a fire jellyfish or box jellyfish, lives in the waters of Australia and Southeast Asia. There are almost 200 known species of jellyfish that travel across the seas of our planet.

While many of them are actually harmless, the sea wasp is thought to be the most venomous marine animal known to come before. Its venom is so powerful that those who have been stung refer to a pain so unbearable that it shocks and drowns, even before the full effect of it occurs.

In addition to its venom, the fire jellyfish is almost invisible, making it harder to detect. In addition, it is of daytime habits and prefers to hunt in shallow water, which increases the chances of coming into contact with unsuspecting swimmers.

Physical description

The name box jellyfish they give him in Australia derives from the shape of his bell, which is shaped like a box. The body is semi-transparent and usually measures between 16 and 24 centimeters, although its diameter reaches approximately 35 centimeters.

From each of the corners the tentacles are projected, and each side can contain up to 15 tentacles about three meters long. The sea wasp is pale blue, very difficult to see even in the clear ocean waters. This trait prevented it from knowing for years what caused such terrible pain, often followed by death.

Each tentacle contains millions of nematocis, a kind of microscopic hooks where the poison is stored and distributed. Sea wasps contain sensory organs that include 24 eyes, but do not have a brain.

Reproduction habits

Every spring, sea wasps gather to spawn in rivers and bodies of similar waters. They find a mate in freshwater sources and there they release eggs or sperm, as the case may be, directly into the water. Once fertilization occurs, the planula (larva) adheres to a hard surface and becomes a small polyp.

Polyps are tiny, measure one to two millimetres, and look like a living ball with two tentacles, which they use to adhere to stones or other surfaces where they don’t feel exposed, often in a rock crevice or at the bottom of them.

Once the polyp has finished sprouting, it becomes a juvenile jellyfish, growing into a sexually mature, and travels from the river to the sea. There they continue to grow to their final size, from 16 to 24 centimeters.

The mature sea wasp dies shortly after the release of sperm and eggs, and is not involved in the rearing of its offspring. Because of this, box jellyfish are thought to have a longevity of just under a year.

Sea wasp behavior

Box jellyfish have several behavioral traits that distinguish them from other jellyfish. In particular, sea wasps can actively swim, while most other species float and get carried away by the current.

Another difference from the sea wasp is that it rests at the bottom of the sea and does not move unless disturbed. This rest phase is considered to compensate for the energy invested in the time they actively swim. They tend to swim more slowly during the day, which is probably due to hunting or consuming their prey.

During very active swell seasons they descend into deep water until the sea calms down. Human bites happen unintentionally and can prove fatal. It is estimated that its main victims are children and young adults.

Where the sea wasp lives

Its habitat is limited to the waters of the Australian continent and Southeast Asia. They inhabit parts of the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Great Barrier Reef. Sea wasps have also been found in the waters of Australia’s western coast.

Human bites are mostly reported in the ocean waters of Queensland on Australia’s east coast. It is thought that the sea wasp may also be responsible for reported bites near the Philippines.