Watch an Irukandji Jellyfish Paralyze and Swallow a Fish Whole
by Owen James Burke
Above: the small but deadly irukandji, or box jellyfish. Photo: Robert Hartwick.
The irukandji, sea wasp, or box jellyfish (class Cubozoa) is one of the most venomous jellyfish in the world, and are potentially fatal to human beings, though some species can be as small as your fingernail. It’s no wonder, then, how this small fish ends up dead as a Julius Caesar within seconds of being ensnared.
Watch a box jellyfish makes quick work of a helplessly curious little guppy, lured to its death by the jelly’s tentacles, which offer the deceptive, false promise of a meal:
In the tropical waters of northern Australia, box jellyfish are such a problem for bathers (alongside crocodiles and tiger sharks) that nets are put up along designated swimming beaches. Generally, I’m all for taking my chances in the water, but these are pernicious little devils, and well, you’d be a damned fool to jump into their domain without protection.
And if you’re in need of some really high-brow entertainment, watch Angry TV show host George Kourounis discover the writhing pain of the irukandji first hand. Why? All in the name of science: