04 December 2009

This half-inch-long jellyfish almost killed a man

Just another in that endless list of creaturesfromAustraliathatcankillyou.

This is an Irukandji jellyfish, a distant relative of the better-known box jellyfish that can kill an adult human in two minutes. A 29-year-old man encountered an Irukandji yesterday:
When he dove off the yacht off north-east Queensland on Thursday, the man was wearing a full-length "stinger suit," a lightweight version of a wet suit that covers everything but the face, feet and hands...
... but he was immediately stung in the face and had to be rushed to an intensive care unit.
The jellyfish's sting can lead to "Irukandji syndrome," a set of symptoms that includes shooting pains in the muscles and chest, vomiting, restlessness and anxiety. Some symptoms can last for more than a week, and the syndrome can occasionally lead to a rapid rise in blood pressure and heart failure... because the jellyfish leave almost no mark on their victims, scientists believe they are responsible for many deaths that were attributed as drownings or heart attacks...
Sounds like an ideal weapon for committing murder.

Photo credit AP.


  1. Nah, not a good murder weapon. These are mostly harmless, and cause only an itch or a slight burn. Too chancy for murder.
    Izabela from Australia

  2. Murder weapon? Mebbe, mebbe not. But they could spice up your sex life ...
    See http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2004/1151831.htm

    (Five years on, and this lovely interview on ABC Radio National's Science Show still cracks me up).

  3. The night after writing this I happened to watch the movie "Seven Pounds" in which the protagonist commits suicide... via box jellyfish!


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