View Full Version : Nasty new jellyfish found

11-29-2005, 04:37 PM
Scientists have announced a new and nasty type of box jellyfish has been found on the outer reef - which just happens to be where we are headed in a couple of weeks.
New jellyfish found (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17410932%255E30417,00.html)

OK - so its found on the outer reef 10 days after the full moon - that'd be Boxing Day :eek:

I think I'll do the line fishing bit on Boxing Day rather than snorkelling for a feed.

My first visit to the Great Barrier Reef was Christmas 1980 for the Australian titles in the Tornado class. My crew was a young local guy who'd been hit on the arm with a loose box jellyfish tentacle in rough weather the previous season. He ended up in intensive care.

A couple of guys (Ben Cropp?) came down to Ellis Beach - where we were launching our boats - and dragged the beach with a net - and pulled in a couple of the nasty beasties. Everyone wore their stinger gear after that.


11-29-2005, 04:50 PM
"stinger gear"?

11-29-2005, 04:59 PM
Yep - stinger gear. In my case a very Ali Baba looking set of cheesecloth trousers made up by a sailmaker mate. Many of the guys wore pantihose - which are very effective at stopping the stings - but not a good look with hairy legs :D


11-29-2005, 05:05 PM
watched a show just the other day on the irukandji and the bloke who was tryin to prove that it existed and was responsible for many of the unexplainable stings people were getting near shore.

very interesting show. helped solidify my decision to never go in the water in Australia :D

p.s. how’s my casual inclusion of some down home Aussie talk? eh? eh? bloke... one of my favorite words.

John B
11-29-2005, 05:16 PM
Pantihose eh. I knew it. I just knew it. :D

eh is more Kiwi than Aussie. ;)
We can go in the water here. There's the occasional great white, bronze whaler, but , well, there's so many people in the water swimming the chances of one picking you for lunch is pretty slim.

Very glad we don't have much in the way of those jelly fish though. the odd Portugese man o war and a smaller version of the same that turns up on west coast beaches sometimes.

[ 11-29-2005, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: John B ]

Paul Pless
11-29-2005, 05:18 PM
but not a good look with hairy legs you could shave :D

11-29-2005, 05:18 PM
Good onya mate ....

BTW these jellyfish are also found in Hawaii....

Can't let a few nasties keep you out of the water.

These are the modern stinger suits:



Billy Bones
11-29-2005, 05:20 PM
I got stung by one of your box jellies in 1996 off Venezuela. That damned sting itched for 5 YEARS! Fortunately while we have most of the nasties you have, ours are seldom fatal. Good thing, cuz that sea wasp sting had me in agony for a fair bit, all the while we were on an uninhabited island way off the coast.

11-29-2005, 05:31 PM
We can go in the water here. There's the occasional great white, bronze whaler, but , well, there's so many people in the water swimming the chances of one picking you for lunch is pretty slim Last time I was up on the reef, I got back on the boat and this English tourist said "did you see that Tiger Shark go past you"? Nope.

I do recall seeing my first hammerheads in N. Zeddie - in the Bay of Islands.

I seem to recall that two issues come into play with the larger nasties - get out of the water by 3pm which is when the bigger ones start coming back in to the reefs - and don't pee in the water.

The story tends to be that sharks have a very acute sense of smell - and can smell minute traces of blood in the water - but the same goes for urine - if they smell a significant concentration of urine, there must be a large animal where it came from ......


John B
11-29-2005, 05:37 PM
I think its best not to think of the bigger bitey things. You know.. TV news articles: stick your fingers in your ears and roll your eyes while singing stayin alive ( second time I've used that song today),never see jaws, spill your coffee on the newspaper headline that says SH...... AT.... K !!

works for me.

11-29-2005, 06:06 PM
Back in Hawaii was where I frist heard of the box jelly. I guess a bunch of them showed up one winter a while back. Nasty descriptions of the damage they do in the paper.

Only stingy thing I ever saw in 20 some years in Hawaiian waters was the pocho (portugese man-o-war) and it was a given that you'd get hit by one almost every time out. Took a few hits across the face ducking waves and once landed my elbow right on the base of a big'un, right were all the blue is. Oh that one hurt for days. Armpit swelled up and the right side of my face felt a bit numb. For days after I could rub my elbow and make a few more stingers fire. Yipes.

11-30-2005, 01:14 AM
One day in the surf I got the usual sting from a blue bottle on the arm so I started looking around and saw to my horror that there were suddenly dozens of them around me, managed to get back in with only a couple of touches and then stood and watched as hundreds of them were washed ashore. Must have been a good onshore breeze that day. Not as deadly as a box jelly but they still make you pay attention.


11-30-2005, 03:40 AM
In the cooler waters to the south, Victoria and SA, we seem only to have rather mild stingers, in fact the most common, the Mauve Blubber, doesn't have any effect on me at all. I can swim through a flotilla of them without any stings. I have seen a few bluebottles on Wilson's Prom a few years back but none further west.

11-30-2005, 03:57 AM
I was stung on the entire right leg by a box jellyfish in about 1983. David and I were walking into the water and he was precisely immediately in front of me. In waist deep water we turned to go back onto the beach. As I turned I was stung. In his panic David picked me up and put me in the driver's seat. In any case, it took approximately 5 minutes to get to the Ambulance Station. By that time I was beside myself with the most crystalline sharp pain I have ever experienced in my life. After treatment I developed a severe weeping itch on the lower half of my leg which continued for 3 months and developed a hard 10cm round lump equally as uncomfortable on the back of my upper leg. I still have a faint scar on my leg but very clear vivid images of the incident. I carry 10 litres of vinegar aboard now. Back then the first aid treatment was to douse the site with metho. Unfortunately any that was 'placed' along the beaches usually got drunk by the 'desparate winos'.

martin schulz
11-30-2005, 07:12 AM
I heard urine is quite effective when one got stung by a jellyfish. True?

11-30-2005, 07:17 AM
Vinegar sounds much nicer

11-30-2005, 07:55 AM
Well, now I'm sorta glad I live where the water is nippy at the best of times. :eek:

cedar savage
11-30-2005, 09:44 AM
Coming up under the dive boat in the Keys once, multiple jellyfish tentacles draped over the small piece of upper lip exposed between the mouthpiece, mask and hood.

Holeeeee Wahhhhhh!!!! It hurt so badly I became disoriented and my dive partner had to get me reoriented head up so I could surface.

I wouldn't want to get stung on a larger part of my body or by a more poisonous jellyfish!