Box Jelly Fish

Posted by: terrified

Box Jelly Fish - 08/12/2001 19:51

G,day to all,
This may be a topic of a difference,but it is something im curious about..

I live down here on the South Coast N.S.W.,Nowra.
I just watched the show World Around Us,im very curious to know wheather if anyone has ever sighted a Box jelly Fish,or may of been stung,or know anyone that may of been stung..

On the show,they showed Ben Cropp using vinigar for the stings,all im wondering wheather or not if it really workes,and how long does it take to take the sting out,or has anyone know a better way on killing the sting..

Many thanx,i look forward to your postings,and i really appreciate you reading my new topic..

Craig :wave:
Posted by: Mrs Doc

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 09/12/2001 00:35

as far as i know box jellyfish are only common in the tropical areas.

the vinegar works, so does peeing on yourself to put it bluntly. the acid kills the sting and washes the tentacle off. box jellyfish have small poisonous barbs all over their tentacles which is why they're so painful and why if you touch them with your hands etc the sting will go on that area and continue to inflict damage.

you can also wear stockings all over your body while swimming, the barbs cannot get through the mesh cos they're too small.
Posted by: Monsoon Trough

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 09/12/2001 17:31

Originally posted by terrified:
G,day to all,
This may be a topic of a difference,but it is something im curious about..

I live down here on the South Coast N.S.W.,Nowra.
I just watched the show World Around Us,im very curious to know wheather if anyone has ever sighted a Box jelly Fish,or may of been stung,or know anyone that may of been stung..

On the show,they showed Ben Cropp using vinigar for the stings,all im wondering wheather or not if it really workes,and how long does it take to take the sting out,or has anyone know a better way on killing the sting..

Many thanx,i look forward to your postings,and i really appreciate you reading my new topic..

Craig :wave:

Box Jelly fish lurk in tropical areas from October to May. Their Sting is fatal and if not treated with vinegar within about 2 mins the person may die. I once saw a person who had been stung and they had ugly scars all over their leg where the box jelly fish's tenticles had been. Although stockings work most people choose to swim in the stinger nets.
Posted by: terrified

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 09/12/2001 18:56

Many thanx to you all!!

The advice you gave me was greatly appreciated as i plan on taking my family for a holiday up North after xmas..
Cheers to all
Craig :cheers:
Posted by: Mrs Doc

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 10/12/2001 00:45

you'll be right inside the stinger nets, just watch where you walk on the beach after a storm etc. you normally can't see the tentacles but it's nothing to worry bout ok? just take care. the lifeguards are trained and know what to do.. just STAY IN THE NETS.
Posted by: Phil

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 10/12/2001 10:32

I live in Gladstone Central Queensland aand about ten years ago a young boy who was taken for a swim by his Grandmother was stung by a box jellyfish and tragiclly died. After this happened the local council put up a stinger net and left bottles of vinegar for use if needed. Years ago we never seemed to worry about getting stung because they were never sighted this far south but we haven't had a cold winter in years which now enables them to breed in our rivers and creeks. Another thing you have to watch out for from Gladstone north is crocs.

[ 11-12-2001: Message edited by: Phil ]
Posted by: seaweed

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 10/12/2001 13:32

At the moment Cairns is being invaded by irakanji (I hope I spelt that correctly) jellyfish, and they are a pain in the neck (as well as elsewhere). The little blighters only measure around 5cm fully grown, but their sting can make people awfully sick. The fact that they are so small means that the stinger nets offer no protection. A researcher from James Cook University has been trying to catch a decent number (around 50 will do) for the last 2 years. Well lo behold he hit pay dirt last Sunday. On Palm Cove beach he netted 400 in one afternoon. So there is hope now that a vaccine can be made.
The stupid thing was all the people who waded into the water ignoring the signs about the jellyfish. Suffice to say that Cairns Base Hospital was overloaded on Sunday night with stinger cases. Some people truly have got s%#*t for brains frown frown
Posted by: terrified

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 10/12/2001 16:51

I again would like to THANK each person for their reply to my posting..

I had never thought of the nets,nor of those other little buggers(the stranged name jelly-fish)..

I was sorry to of read about the little boy who was unfortunately killed by the jelly-fish,died over a inocent swim...

Many thanx to ALL!!!..

may i wish you and your families a safe & merry xmas and a safe new year..

Posted by: Popeye

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 03/10/2014 22:20

Box Jelly fish season is starting soon in the tropics So I thought I might bump this thread to hear peoples stories or encounters with them.
Posted by: Popeye

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 03/10/2014 22:35

The last few years here in Broome the numbers of irukandji jellyfish stings has decreased to the point where Cable Beach didn't record a jellyfish sting this season. Last year there were only 3. Previous years there have been 20-30+. At the same time further down the coast in Exmouth 1000 kms away the numbers sky rocketed in the last 2 years where previously they rarely had a stinger season at all. Interesting to see seasonal variations in Jellyfish movements and where they are. Currents?
Posted by: Ronfishes

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 03/10/2014 22:47

I had what I assume was a small piece of box jelly tentacle lodge on my shoulder once while inside the stinger net during rough weather. The instant pain and proximity to my chest had me a bit worried for a minute, but as I left the water and had a look I realized it was only a small portion maybe a few cm long that I removed with my fingernails.A bit of vinegar to denature the proteins and all good.
Posted by: Wave Rider

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 03/10/2014 23:11

Hey guys I am going to the Great Barrier Reef from the 30th October to 8th November for my year 10 camp. Do you guys think box jellyfish will be a concern at this time of year at around the Airlie Beach area?

That is interesting Popeye, I think it could be something to do with currents or even the Indian Ocean Dipole?
Posted by: ColdFront

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 03/10/2014 23:24

Boxies are more of a problem on the southern side of Conway Range early in the season Sea-Mist but they have been dragged in Muddy bay during the wet. You should probably wear a stinger suit around Airlie but they are not an issue around the islands. irukandji are though especially if northerlies are blowing.

Good idea to heighten awareness of the many dangers in tropical waters .
Posted by: Popeye

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 00:03

You can also get dangers occurring in your pool Coldie. Maybe a scorpion falling in, a bee floating on the top. Sometimes spiders can stay alive with an air bubble wrapped around them. You be careful in your pool. Dangerous place.
Posted by: adam93

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 00:39

I always have noticed the vinegar on the beaches. I may be wrong but I thought it was only to kill and tentacles left on ones body so one doesn't get stung trying to pull them off. It's not a 'cure'. If you get stung the tentacles release a venom into the blood stream. If you got stung vinegar wont fix it, get to the hospital asap.
Posted by: ColdFront

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 00:44

That's right. Apparently the vinegar neutralises the darts that haven't been fired yet but a paramedic told me that there will never be enough vinegar on a beach for a bad Box Jelly sting.
Posted by: Popeye

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 00:45

Latest research apparently says that whilst vinegar will de-activate the unfired stinging cells it will also continue to fire the already activated cells therefore releasing more venom into the victim.

So what do you do just leave them on and risk more firing off or splash some vinegar on to deactivate them. Until further research is done I guess places will still use Vinegar.
Posted by: Hurricane force

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 07:36

Here is a interesting article relating to the use of vinegar on Box stings.

Should we stop using vinager on Box stings?
Posted by: Wave Rider

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 09:09

Thanks for the response guys!

CF- I didn't actually realise that boxies were south of Airlie Beach in the early part of the season. I always thought they came down with the warm water, then when it got cooler again they'd retreat. So thanks for giving me a new understanding on boxies smile

And I'm guessing they get pushed up the coast by the SE trades?

Yeah vinegar is not a cure as Adam said, it only kills the tentacles and vinegar is also not good for the skin if to much is used to relieve it, as vinegar is acidic (pH of 3) so it can burn the skin. Hospital is deffs the best bet.

Seems like an interesting article there HF, will read it another time as it is pretty long.
Posted by: ColdFront

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 10:49

Every year a group of cane cockies go down to Midge Point once the northerlies have been blowing for a couple of days and drag for prawns. A mate of mine down there got whacked on the ankle as he was coming out of the water many years bag. It was well before the rains hit.

They become more abundant along the beaches after big rain because they become concentrated. They like the creeks but the rains flush them out.
Posted by: desieboy

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 04/10/2014 13:08

A while ago in the wet season when I was Barra fishing towards Thangoo ,I lost a Barra just in the shallows near the boat so stupidly without thinking jumped into the muddy water to see if I could grab it.

Next I knew I felt some tentacles around my thighs and yes I,d been stung by a Box as I had seen them in the clearer water along the steep shoreline .The pain was pretty bad and it felt like a burning pain and it was moving around my body not just where I had gotten stung.

A friend of mine who had been stung did tell me if I ever did get stung don't panic because shock is half the problem and to stay immobile and you would be over the worst of it in about an hour and a half. He told me as long as you don't get multiple stings all over you should be ok and as long as you realise the main pain will not last too long and then the pain will slowly subside.

I took his advice because really I didn't have many options being out there by myself and laid on the deck and waited .I remember the pain was excruciating during the first hour but sure enough and slowly the pain started to subside after about 2 hours .The swelling around the sting site remained up though for many hours afterwards.

My mate also told me a beer is a good way to pass the time while waiting for the pain to go,so I gave that a go as well had 2 beers and that made me feel a lot better.

Since then I was stung again in another creek and more or less had the same reaction and result.

Remember the severity will depend on where you got stung and the if it is a multiple sting ,everybody's pain threshold is different so what may be unbearable to one may be quite tolerable to another.

Of course this is just my own experience and I would not recommend this to others if stung .But my main advice is don't panic your not going to die and stay calm otherwise you may go into shock and complicate things for yourself.
Posted by: Kev86

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 27/01/2015 10:10

With Vinegar being a promoter of the toxins (proteinaceous porins, neurotoxic peptides and bioactive lipids) which enable a reaction called Calcium Influx which is seriously painful, among other reactions that fall out of my spectrum of expertise. It would seem Vinegar is not good for Jellyfish stings anymore other than (as said earlier) for its hypertonic response – of ‘lifting’ non-reacted toxins off the skin. However it will actively promote the reaction of toxins currently reacting with the skin / tissue.
In the laboratories I’ve worked we use Diphoterine - some witch-craft solution designed for Acid / Bases, oxidizers, solvents, reducing agents and alkylants and some Lipophilic substances that cause damage to skin/tissue. It’s miracle stuff (watched it's neutralization of acid on the eye of a rabbit using water and then using Diphoterine - unbelievable difference, instantaneous) and i have no idea what’s in it – as the company developing it tends to keep it under it’s hat. Best i can find it it’s a “chelating and amphoteric solution and it’s also hypertonic”, which tells me sweet FA – but im guessing it’s a mutually separated Cocktail of chemicals that work for each specific reaction and don’t impede it’s sister’s reducing reaction depending on the substance – a Polyvalent aqueous solution made from Unicorn tears, regardless – clever bunch of chemists.

It’s quite cheap and the small reports I’ve read, indicate significant reduction in symptoms from stings – i would genuinely suggest running around with some of that if you plan on heading toward the water.
Posted by: pogonantha

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 27/01/2015 11:36

I cant find any research to support your advice on Diphoterine..Do you have any links to any credible science on that..(Besides acid in a rabbits eye)...?

Your advice regarding not using vinegar is also dubious..the theory behind vinegar increasing envenomation formed through a dubious study that showed that vinegar caused increased nematocyst discharge but in a real world situation often a sting apparently may result in a relatively low percentage of the nematocysts initially firing off and discharging for example if 15%-20% of them fired off is it not better to douse with vinegar to stop the other 80-85% from stinging and releasing the venom even if it possibly results in a small increase in the amount venom released by the initial nematocysts ...

The best advice for now seems to be to douse with vinegar to try and remove or deactivate the unfired stingers ,keep immobile (as Desie states above) and get medical help the case of a minor sting, hot water can be used to relieve the pain....

Any other ideas, anyone..?...I'm really surprised,given,how much the Far north relies on tourism that more funding and research hasnt gone into studying these little monsters..
Posted by: Kev86

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 27/01/2015 13:30

Yes I’ve read the same article that your paraphrasing ( HERE) - The reason vinegar works is it’s hypertonic to the cells it surrounds in this situation, the same reason urine works (works even better if your dehydrated as your urine is a more concentrate hypertonic solution) – this is also the reason Diphoterine works, it moves water out of the cnidoblast (the cell containing the nematocysts before they are ‘fired’) to equalise the net-loss in solids of the surrounding solution, this in laymans terms forms a water bias under the cnidoblast so you can wash it off your skin as the water passes through the hypotonic cell easier, being smaller than the solid molecules it cohabits with, dehydrating the cnidoblast cell - much like drinking salt water will kill you.

The study into Vinegar aiding nematocysts agitation, isn’t as ‘dubious’ as lauded by some researchers. The study is sound, its control works and it’s mechanism for firing is also sound. Electric stimulus is common practice to simulate cellular activity and if the control is ascertained correctly (i.e saline solution sterilisation, which you would find in real-world as that’s basically where jellyfish live) and noted a net-gain when you add a catalyst, it would be a perfectly acceptable hypothesis that that added solution is a catalyst. It is one of the more ‘real-world’ in vitro tests I’ve read.

The mechanism for this is the real question?

The active ingredient in Vinegar is the acetic acid, Diphoterine has amphoteric molecules (react to acid/bases alike) would be equally as useful as vinegar as it would ‘complex’ with the venom in both ways, reducing toxicity volume – regardless if the study is correct or incorrect.

It’s very new stuff, i haven’t seen any peer reviewed studies into its effectiveness, other than actual cases of someone using it and noting relief. It just seems chemically, more useful than vinegar which I've explain simply reduces venom volume by hypo > hyper tonic reaction...chemically, it doesn't do much else.

P.s - the rabbit thing was in relation to it working on Sulfuric Acid burns to eye's, as I've never seen a solution nullify chemical burns and stimulated cell-repair so fast in my life, freaking amazing...nothing to do with Jellyfish though.
Posted by: pogonantha

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 27/01/2015 16:37

Keep up the good work Kev..for now I'll continue to carry a bottle of vinegar in the boat and as we did on the weekend,stay out of the water as currently there has been a huge number of jellies along the beaches in FNQ with the persistent northerly winds.....
Posted by: Hagrid

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 01/02/2015 13:22

Ok this one is close to home, in 1957 my grand parents went to Yeppoon for a holiday with their three kids and as you do when you get to the beach, they went for a swim on the Yeppoon main beach Bobby the eldest ran to the water diving head first into a wave and unfortunately into a large box jelly. He immediately began to scream then collapsed in the water Granddad went to his aid and was stung himself in the process and brought him to the beach for medical aid but unfortunately Bobby died on the beach (10years old). Fifty years later you could still see the scars from that day on Grandad's back and arms. He likened it to being hit with a stockwhip of fire and thought it was one of the most painful things he had experienced. I know the old fella had a high pain threshold because he broke his leg then drove over an hour to the Rockhampton hospital. Anyway a story for the thread.
Posted by: Wave Rider

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 01/02/2015 19:12

Thats really sad Cloudbreak frown Thanks for sharing that story.
Posted by: pogonantha

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 01/02/2015 21:13

Thats really horrible for your family Cloudbreak...the story sounds eerily similar to a tragic event 12 years ago here at Mission Beach..
Posted by: ColdFront

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 25/02/2015 19:31

Sad story cloudbreak. I knew a guy in the Whitsundays who was stung around the ankle when he was 19 . He also had the marks 42 years later as clear as they were all those years earlier.

He also said there is simply nothing to compare to the pain. It is instant and like someone is holding a flame to your skin was his description.
Posted by: Popeye

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 07/10/2015 21:50

I wonder if the above average water temps off WA will bring a spike in Jellyfish stings throughout WA. Kimberley, Pilbara and even Gascoyne. Time will tell. A few have turned up in drag nets in Broome over recent weeks. Very unusual for late Sept to get some Irukandji showing up.
Posted by: desieboy

Re: Box Jelly Fish - 08/02/2016 16:24

Been stung recently twice within a few days and I reckon our Box Jelly is not the real lethal one.
Having said that on two different occasions years ago I noticed that one sting was a lot more painful and lasted longer than a similar sting weeks before.Both stings were in the same location around my arm.

I have a feeling too that there is more than a few different types of Box Jellies lurking around these waters.
I have even seen one with slightly mauve colouring to the main body and tentacles.

This standing has happened many times but usually in other locations not Cable Beach ...worst place especially this time of year where you will see then close to shore on any given day is around the Crab Creek area .

Box Jellyfish stranding