Irukandji - jellyfish-tyrant: description, habitat and danger to humans


2018-03-19 07:46:15




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Jellyfish attracts us with its unusual shape, something resembling the aliens from another Universe. Part of it is. After all, their homeland is a world very different from ours, – the bottomless and boundless ocean. And looking at these dome-shaped creatures, inadvertently forget about the fact that many of them pose a real threat to humans.

For Example, irukandji-jellyfish, capable of killing a man with one touch. And this despite the fact that it rarely grows more than the nail on your index finger men. Agree, this is a very dangerous neighbour in swimming. So let's find out a little more, because that knowledge can save someone's life.

irukandji jellyfish

A New kind of jellyfish

In the early twentieth century, Australian doctors are faced with an unusual problem. To them began to address the natives, complaining about a strange burning pain and nausea. After examination of the patients, the doctors came to the conclusion that the culprit is unknown animal toxin got into the bloodstream through the skin. At this answer they gave scars on the victims. That's just what creature could have left them?

A Little later, the doctors guessed that the culprit jellyfish, hitherto unknown to science. The first to find the “criminal” said the academician Hugo Flecker in 1952. Indeed, he soon introduced the world to a new kind of – irukandji. Jellyfish, incidentally, was named after the tribe of Australian aborigines, whose representatives appealed to the doctors. This name quickly caught on, and even today the scientific community uses it.

irukandji jellyfish photo


Even half a century ago, this species of jellyfish can be found just off the coast of Australia. This is due to the fact that these little animals can not tolerate cold water, but because it never crossed their allotted niche. However, global warming has brought about many changes in the marine abode. Now dangerous predators has spread much further than before. This led to the fact that there are a lot of myths about the irukandji. “jellyfish in the Red sea bites people”, - such titles at one time were full on tourist forums. But the truth is that so far this jellyfish has not yet reached. After all, in fact it moves at a speed of 4 km/h and simply unable to swim out far from their native shores, not caught in the cold currents of the ocean.


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Irukandji-jellyfish, the description of which should begin with its size. Because the background of their fellows it stands out tiny proportions. Thus, the diameter of the dome of the jellyfish ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 cm Only occasionally Mature specimens can grow up to 3 cm in width.

All irukandji have four tentacles. However, their length can reach impressive sizes. For example, scientists have found a jellyfish, whose tentacles were more than one meter in length. However, such giants are rare.

Still, even a short “legs” irukandji able to strike the enemy a mortal wound. And all because they are stinging cells which contain the main weapon of the jellyfish – paralytic toxins. For example: poison this sea beast 100 times more potent than Cobra venom.

irukandji jellyfish in red sea

Habits dangerous sea dweller

Irukandji-jellyfish, who used to lead a quiet life. Most of the day she spends drifting at sea currents. This helps it to save energy, which it subsequently allowed for the digestion. It feeds exclusively on plankton, as the other inhabitants of the ocean, she simply can not handle.

It is Noteworthy that jellyfish have primitive eyes. This helps her to navigate in space and, possibly, vaguely distinguish the surrounding objects (the sight of Medusa is poorly understood, and therefore to judge about it only hypothetically). And yet the ability to see light and dark areas of the ocean is a vital function. Because of this jellyfish can remain at optimal depths.

Bold experimenter Jack Barnes

For a Long time, the bite of this animal remains unknown, as scientists are simply afraid of irukandji. Medusa was a white spot in the science world, as long as she did not come from Dr. Jack Barnes. It was he who in 1964 held a bold experiment, discovered the truth about the action of the toxin.

Barnes has allowed the jellyfish to sting itself. Despite the terrible pain, he consistently described all the sensations received after a bite. Because of this, the doctors finally found out the rate of progression of the blood and how it manifests itself in the body of the victim.

irukandji jellyfish description

Symptoms of bite

The penetration of the toxin into the bloodstream leads to the excitation of the nervous system. The first thing starts to hurt the area affected by irukandji. Then you may experience headaches, nausea, muscle spasms and sharp pain in the lower back. If the poison is not neutralized, it is possible to hypertension, vomiting and even pulmonary edema.

It is because of such consequences of dangerous irukandji. Medusa (her photo is in the article) is causing fear among many tourists. On the beaches of Australia established posters with her description. This is to ensure that vacationers know your enemy in the face and avoided contact with him. After all, there are several cases when the bite of this animal led to the death of a person.

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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