THE SEA WASP

By December 4, 2016

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If you ever dare to venture out into the coastal waters of Australia, you had better watch out for the Sea Wasp.  The Chironex Flecker—more commonly known as the “Sea Wasp”— is a species of box jelly fish that lives off the coasts of Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Vietnam.The Sea Wasp is a large member of the class Cubozoan, with a bell that can be as large the size of a basketball and tentacles that can grow to about 10 feet long. The Sea Wasp is practically transparent. Because it is difficult to apprehend and also highly venomous, it is a dire threat to swimmers.

Since 1954, observers have recorded a whopping 5,568 human deaths involving the Sea Wasp. The Sea Wasp is in fact most famous for its sting, which, if strong enough, may kill a human in three to five minutes. In order to sting, the Sea Wasp uses special stinging cells, called Cnidocytes. Although there is an antivenom to a Sea Wasp’s sting, because most injuries occur in deeper waters, a Sea Wasp’s victim usually drowns or dies before he or she can reach the shore and receive the antivenom. While the Sea Wasp’s sting is highly dangerous to humans, it is practically useless against the thick skin of turtles—most notably the Leatherback Turtle, which is the Sea Wasp’s main predator.

                                                          

Deadly Scale:    9

Cool Fact: Jelly fish have no brain.

Jude Cousteau

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