Large populations of venomous box jellyfish are common in the Indo-Pacific and northern Australia regions.
Their venom attacks the heart, nervous system, and skin.
If a human survives the sting, it can leave a lasting scar that causes considerable pain for weeks.
When swimming in an area with potential box jellyfish populations, wearing lycra products or other skin coverings can provide ample protection from stings.
This is because the box jellyfish’s nematocysts—or stinging cells—aren’t triggered by touch, but by sensing chemicals on the skin.
No chemicals mean no stinging!
Their powerful sting isn’t the only adaptation box jellyfish have made to stand apart from their other invertebrate siblings though.
They’re also capable swimmers!
While most jellyfish are subject to the currents they float in, box jellyfish can jet through the water at a speed of 7.5 kilometres (4.6 miles) per hour.
Despite all this, jellyfish live relatively short lives—less than a year in most cases.
This is likely a good thing because warming ocean waters have been attributed to an increase in jelly populations in many parts of the world.