A gang of jellyfish is called a "smack". Placed
end to end, the tentacles of a large box jellyfish
would stretch 60m. The box jellyfish is the most
deadly bastard in the world and is one of the most
venomous creatures on earth. It kills twice as many
people per year as bastard sharks. Up to 10,000
stings occur each summer in Australia from
bluebottles alone. In the Northern Territory,
deaths from jellyfish stings have been recorded in
every month of the year except June.
How to survive a box jellyfish attack
- Call an ambulance and seek medical personnel
to administer antivenom (purified sheep
immunoglobin) as soon as possible.
- Apply vinegar (never methylated spirits or
alcohol) to adhering tentacles and stung area
for about 30 seconds. This will prevent the
firing of undischarged stinging cells, but will
not decrease pain.
- Carefully remove clinging tentacles with
tweezers or fingers.
- If the victim seems to be having trouble
breathing, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and/or
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), may be
required due to the effect of toxins on the
- If antivenom is unavailable, compression
bandages may be applied above the sting as the
victim is transported to the hospital, but there
are conflicting reports as to their
- Ice packs can be used to relive pain.
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