In the various oceans we can find the most poisonous jellyfish in the world. Some of them can kill people with a single stab.
The 5 most poisonous jellyfish
The ocean is one of the most unexplored corners of planet Earth and is home to the most poisonous jellyfish. This vast water-filled ecosystem is not only home to jellyfish, but also to many other species of animals and plants.
The name jellyfish already inspires respect in itself, as these invertebrates are associated with pain due to the sting. However, not all species within this group are poisonous. In order for everyone to know this difference properly, the most poisonous jellyfish and how to recognize them will be presented below.
Why are jellyfish poisonous?
Although jellyfish look like harmless animals, nothing could be further from the truth. Evolution has allowed them to develop defensive techniques, such as the production of a highly toxic poison.
At the evolutionary level, the main function of jellyfish toxicity is related to a defensive role. Several studies have established that the composition of the poison contains substances that are dangerous for humans.
If people are exposed to high doses of these substances, they can suffer great harm. Even low-dose reactions are fatal to their prey and harmful to our species.
The 5 most poisonous jellyfish
Here are a total of 5 jellyfish that are classified as very poisonous. Knowing a little more about them will allow us to identify them and put our feet on the ground when we see them. Let’s get to it.
Among the existing jellyfish species, Chrysaora fuscescens stands out. Individuals of this species are easily spotted due to their size – 1.80 meters – and their golden-brown coloration.
One of their most striking features is their ability to localize light. Thanks to that, they can detect prey or possible threats. In addition, they are able to release a reddish colored ink.
Because of their powerful hues and ease of keeping for humans, this species is exhibited in public aquariums. Fortunately, the burn is only annoying to humans, although there have been cases where it was dangerous.
Despite its small size, it is estimated that just 1.4 milliliters of the venom of the sea wasp (Chironex fleckeri) can kill a human within minutes. For this reason, it has the first place on the podium for dangerousness, and is classified as the most poisonous species on earth.
It is around 6 millimeters in diameter, but the tentacles can be 3 meters long. The danger of this invertebrate lies in the size of its tentacles, as humans can become entangled in them and burn themselves. However, this animal prefers the waters far from the shores of Australian beaches.
A strange fact about the burn is that, according to a study published on the portal Sciencedirect, the older the individual, the more powerful the poison. In addition, other researchers are studying the pharmacological utility of jellyfish venom in hopes of developing drugs.
The name comes from the inhabitants who live in the north of Australia, called Irukandji. Together with the sea wasp, it belongs to the cow jellyfish and, like it, the irukandji jellyfish (Carukia barnesi) is at the top of the list of toxicity.
The venom is reportedly 100 times more powerful than that produced by a cobra. Despite being one of the smallest jellyfish species, it has been observed that the smaller it is, the stronger the toxicity of the sting.
The most common symptoms of burns include muscle cramps, burning sensation, vomiting, headache or tachycardia. The set of signs that was caused was called “irukandji syndrome”. Fortunately, burning on it is not fatal if the victim receives the right treatment in time.
The species Cyanea capillata, known as the red fire jellyfish, has been identified as the largest jellyfish. The bell can be 2.5 metres, the tentacles can reach 30 meters and it weighs a quarter of a ton.
It is typical of cold water, and is found in the North Atlantic and Australian waters. Like other jellyfish, the nematocytes remain active even when dead. This means that they can cause combustion some time after death. It is most dangerous for those with allergies or if small children are burned over large parts of the body.
Although Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) is not a true jellyfish, its appearance on this list was necessary. Every year this invertebrate is in the news, due to many specimens stranded on the beaches.
Unfortunately, after stranding, these animals end up dying on the beach. But their death does not mean the absence of risk. Apparently, their tentacles remain active, even if they are separated from the body or the individual is dead.
As already mentioned, this false jellyfish is actually a colony of hydrozoans, also called a colonial organism. It is easily recognizable thanks to its pink color with bluish tones. Therefore, the presence here was necessary, since the burning can be fatal for humans.
In short, the oceans that make up the Earth’s vast bodies of water are home to many different species. Of them all, we have talked about jellyfish and especially the most poisonous species.
When you know the most relevant data about the most poisonous jellyfish, you can act if you find them. The main requirement is to get as far away as possible from their tentacles, where the burning cells filled with poison are located.
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Vogue Health Team