The great barrier reef… Home of beauty and wonder. Also the home to one of the most dangerous animals in nature, the box jellyfish! Box jellies are small in appearance but pack a highly venomous punch capable of death by heart attack due to sheer pain.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Cubozoa
Length: 8 inch body, up to 9 foot tentacles
Lifespan: 3-4 months
Now on to the Facts!
1.) The venom from the big box jellyfish’s nematocysts, located in just 6 feet of tentacle is painful enough to cause a person to die from a heart attack!
2.) The box jelly has approximately 800,000 stinging organelles for every 1/3 of an inch! Their tentacles can reach up to 9 feet long.
3.) There are 29 known species of box jellies.
4.) Symptoms of a sting include headaches, rapid heart rate, agitation, vomiting, extensive sweating, and extremely high blood pressure. This is known as Irukanji Syndrome.
5.) Even though all jellyfish are venomous, this one tops the charts. The pain experienced by a stinging incident is excruciating and can be lethal!
But wait, there’s more on the box jellyfish!
6.) The big box jelly has 24 eyes. These eyes are on the inside of their bell (body).
7.) Jellies are diurnal (active during the day).
Did you know…?
Sea turtles are the only known predator of jellyfish.
8.) These critters only live for about 3 months. This lifespan is steadily increasing as global ocean temperatures rise, due to global warming.
9.) Due to global warming, jellyfish are also becoming more prolific, worldwide.
10.) A big box jellyfish can lose up to 30% of its bodyweight in about 24 hours if it doesn’t eat. They eat about 2-3 times a day.