This tiny jellyfish can kill you with a sting that causes a feeling of impending doom. Irukandji jellyfish are a type of deadly venomous box jellyfish which is feared wherever it lives.
They are both one of the smallest and most deadly jellyfish in the world. Their sting results in a collection of symptoms known as irukandji syndrome, which includes severe headache, backache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, cramps and a feeling of impending doom. Patients have been reported as being so sure they are going to die that they beg their doctors to kill them to get it over with.
Irukandji jellyfish are found all over the marine waters of Australia. But reports of irukandji syndrome have come from Hawaii, Florida, the French Antilles, and the Caribbean.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes the feeling of dread in irukandji sufferers. But some studies suggest the venom causes an uptick in the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are connected to anxiety.
They are almost impossible to avoid. The average size of an irukandji jellyfish’s body is 1 cm (0.3 inches.) However, their venomous tentacles can stretch to almost one meter. And they’re almost entirely transparent. This means that there could be thousands of them around you in the water, but you’d be entirely unaware that they’re there, until it was too late.
If you do get stung by an irukandji jellyfish, it’s recommended that you get to a hospital right away. If you are unable to reach a doctor fast, there is one recommended household substance that can alleviate the sting’s effects: vinegar. However, even this is a gamble, as research has showed that while vinegar stops stingers that haven’t discharged their venom from activating, it can make already discharged venom worse. Still, the best advice out there is to use vinegar and hope for the best.