More Terrifying Than Jaws

by ZAK BROWN

As if you did not need more proof the ocean is actively trying to pay us back for our interferences we present to you the most poisonous jellyfish in the world. Seemingly lifeless and without will, the sting and possible death attributed to jellyfish often happen more in the style of walking blindly into traffic than being actively stalked by some of the more famous man killers. It comes as no surprise to anyone who has encountered any of the following why the most recent aliens of film resemble a jellyfish more than a shark due to the unknown quality they possess, the pure ethereal beauty to them, and the havoc they can incur.

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

To begin our list we present something resembling of a Salvadore Dali painting than an organism known as the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish. With a bell that can reach over eight feet across and tentacles reaching 100 feet long they reside in the colder waters of the Northern Atlantic and Australia. Travelling in packs and containing a bioluminescent glow, they resemble a submerged system of stars that can retain their incredibly painful sting long after they have died.

Sea Nettle Jellyfish

Next we find the Sea Nettle Jellyfish, one of the more common species that congregate in large blooms typically off the Eastern United States. If you find yourself in the middle of one of these swarms the result will be much like kicking a hive of africanized bees- total confusion and severe pain. At six feet long the sting incurred by the Nettle Jellyfish can leave large painful rashes but are luckily rarely fatal.

The Cannonball Jellyfish

With a name of eighteenth century artillery you know it will pack a punch, the Cannonball Jellyfish or the Cabbage Head Jellyfish is the third to be found on our list. Resembling more of a mutated mushroom found from Alice in Wonderland the Cannonball Jellyfish sting is painful yet never fatal. The good thing is if you hold a grudge against the one that stung you, it can be dried and eaten as a delicacy.

The Portuguese Man-O-War

The Portuguese Man-O-War has a name like a wrestler and is puffed up to resemble one. Much less a Jellyfish than many organisms working together in a symbiotic relationship to survive and close down beaches in Australia and as far North as Scotland, the Bluebottle as it is known colloquially in Australia, is the most common purveyor of pain. Over 10,000 incidents annually is Australia alone, the pain from a sting lasts several days and can sometimes lead to death.

Irukandji Jellyfish

Irukandji Jellyfish, the deadly insect of the Jellyfish world measures in at just .2 inches and are known as one of the most venomous jellyfish in the world. The terrifying ordeal of being stung by one of these sea fleas begins as nothing more than a sting similar to the bite of a mosquito. Eventually this builds into what is known as “Irukandji Syndrome” with pain and a feeling of “impending doom” that has had multiple victims ask their doctors to kill them and be done with it. The symptoms included are everything the human body can think of causing pain including severe headache, backache, muscle pains, chest and abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, sweating, anxiety, hypertension, tachycardia and pulmonary edema. But not to worry as the majority of effects will subside after two weeks.

Box Jellyfish

Taking first place is the infamous Box Jellyfish found without surprise in Australia and Southeast Asia. Do not let the pedestrian name fool you, with 24 eyes, four brains, and 60 anal regions it is truly an alien among us. Since 1954, 5,568 deaths have been attributed to this jelly, it contains 15 tentacles with 500,000 poisonous darts on each. The stings are so painful a large number of victims die from drowning due to shock when stung. If you are lucky to survive such an attack after two weeks of debilitating pain you will have the whip like scars to remind you to stick to land activities.

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