Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Deadly Irukandji Jellyfish

Yesterday night there was a documentary on Irukandji Jellyfish (I.J.F.) on Animal Planet. I was amazed when they showed that a sting by an I.J.F. can prove fatal. You just will not be able to believe as it is just 1.2 cm by 2.5 cm body and contractible tentacles, length of which may range from 5 cm to 1 m.
Following pictures will clear how small it looks.

These jellyfish are mostly found in Australia. The jellyfish are named after the Yirrganydji people (a.k.a Irukandji), who are a group of Australian aborigines, whose country stretches along the coastal strip north of Cairns, Queensland.

It is found that these jellyfish sting from the tip of their stingers which is why the venom takes time to take effect. It causes severe pain and the venom starts taking effect after some 15-20 minutes. If timely cure is provided, then the sting is not fatal. But there are reports where few humans have died because of Irukandji sting!

Imagine such a small creature killing a full grown human being!! Wonders of nature or what may I say!

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