Island caretaker with dream job stung by jellyfish


33 Responses to “Island caretaker with dream job stung by jellyfish”

  1. triplejay says:

    The musical comedy duo Scared Weird Little Guys wrote a song promoting Aussie tourism entitled ‘Come to Australia (you might accidentally get killed)’. It seems quite appropriate at:

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s a lot of talk about Australia’s dangerous species but the reality is that they cause few deaths. The link above explains in detail.

    • djn says:

      Mind you, I think that article took a bit light on non-fatal encounters. Sharks chewing on you? Irukandji stings? None of those are especially fun even if you survive.

  3. Anonymous says:

    At least I don’t have to wear a thick neoprene body suit to my job.

    Well, at least not unless I want to on Casual Fridays.

  4. David Pescovitz says:

    Corrected “bitten” to “stung” in headline, thanks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You forgot the best symptom of an Irukandji sting – a feeling of impeding doom.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Well that’s not exactly a great headline for the people who wanted to inspire tourism to the island…

  7. apoxia says:

    My partner was stung (not bitten!) by a jellyfish in Fiji early last year – just a garden variety, not deadly. We found out the staff at the place we were staying had no idea how to treat the sting. They suggested we purchase some coconut oil, which they happened to be selling. Thankfully there was a surfer on hand who told us to head to the kitchen and ask for some vinegar. The tingly pain subsided over the next hour or so. Those jellyfish can be pretty terrifying.

  8. Katja says:

    @ #30 – Don’t forget the hoop snakes!

  9. jeligula says:

    Protein contact needs to be established for the neuro-toxin to transfer. This is achieved by a sting, not a bite. Curiously enough, anything at all will block the protein contact, so the sheerest of pantie-hose over the arms would suffice for complete protection.

    • Jerril says:

      The feebleness of the stingers goes back to the “utter lack of hard parts” thing. The only “stingers” they have are little cillia – a stinging nettle has sturdier stinging hairs.

  10. jeligula says:

    Just as an aside, you can use explosive bottle rockets to clear the water for a time.

  11. Antinous / Moderator says:

    What kind of loser goes swimming without his chainmail on?

  12. Daemon says:

    And now you know WHY there’s a $100k+ salary. Half of Australia’s lifeforms are poisonous or otherwise want you dead.

    Also: Jellyfish don’t have mouths and thus can’t bite anything. As the others have pointed out, the word is sting. The word is right there in the source article. Seriously.

    • Jerril says:

      I was just signing in to point out the utter lack of mouthparts… or really anything hard at all on a jellyfish. Thats why they resort to biochemical warfare – they don’t HAVE anything else.

      Re: Anon – peeing on the sting isn’t actually a bad idea, lacking any better weak acids on hand to help. I’d try fruit juice over pee, because orange juice and apple juice are IIRC more acidic, but in a pinch wee would be better than coconut oil…

      • Boba Fett Diop says:

        I remember one time in Texas, my brother found a scorpion on the back porch of the lodge he was staying in. I was trying to remember what to do for a scorpion sting, just in case, and thought “oh right, you just pee on it.” Then I remembered that urine was the folk remedy for jellyfish, not scorpions. I still get a little chuckle from the mental image of my brother having potentially been both stung by a scorpion and then peed on.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha, lots of noise about a potential hazard. You could get hit by a bus walking across the road from your house. Don’t not go to a country just in case you might encounter a dangerous creature. Lots of people live there and have never been stung/bitten/chomped on. You’ll be fine.

  14. lilacsigil says:

    He was told to wear a sting suit, didn’t bother and got stung. Moron.

    (Apparently it was an irukandji, but he was barely brushed by it, hence the minor illness rather than death.)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard you should pee on a jellyfish sting. Just ask Dr. Stool.

  16. PurpleWyrm says:

    We Australians like to make a big deal of our dangerous animals because it makes us seem insanely tough, but seriously it’s no more dangerous here than anywhere else in the world. I’ve lived here my entire life (admittedly in the city, but I’ve tramped around in the bush a lot) and the most dangerous thing I’ve ever run into is a rather small snake which made a very fast exit on my appearance. A bit of common sense (like not poking things with sticks, not sticking your hands into dark crevices and taking the advice of knowledgeable locals) is all you need to remain perfectly safe.

    Do watch out for the drop bears though.

    • djn says:

      Thing is, I end up comparing it to where I live.
      We have no dangerous spiders, no truly[1] dangerous snakes, no dangerous jellyfish, no dangerous octopi, and the largest sharks here are about as dangerous as house cats. (On the flip side, quite a lot of people die from moose collisions or hypothermia.)

      With that as the comparison, Australia sounds like a veritable death trap, no matter the actual risk. ;)

      [1] We’ve got adders, and they have been known to kill people. On the other hand, they’re timid sensible snakes that tend to avoid people, and the deaths have been in small children or severely weakened people.

      • PurpleWyrm says:

        I suppose that’s true. It’s a matter of distinguishing potential risk from actual risk. The actual risk of getting killed by a shark, snake, jellyfish, spider or cassowary in Australia is pretty low, but the potential is still there.

        (Just to undermine my point entirely, the Australian death adder is one of the few snakes in the world that’ll just lie there and wait to be stepped on. You could dance a jig around the thing and it won’t move but the second you step on it it’ll inject enough venom to turn your insides to jelly.)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bill Bryson has an excellent book on Australia, and frequently revisits the idea that nearly everything there can kill you. Not only are most things venomous to begin with, but so extravagantly poisonous to kill someone a dozen times over.

  18. Anonymous says:

    “Generally speaking, I’m not one of those jellyfish that gets involved in anything too confrontational, but when you see Ben Southall’s insufferable grin floating towards you, your instincts just kick in.”

  19. amuderick says:

    either they are lying about him ‘sleeping it off’ or it wasn’t an Irukandji. This story doesn’t add up.

    After being bitten by Irukandji, people beg for death to end the pain…they don’t sleep it off. Also, it is known that Irukandji toxinis particularly resistant to opiate pain medication and very high doses are needed.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Steve Irwin die from some chance just-happened-to-be-fatal-even-though-they-almost-never-are encounter with a jellyfish or some kind of underwater porcupine-like thing?

    Sometimes the smallest things are what kills you, especially when you’ve taken precautions about the big threats. Life: it’s a crap shoot.

  21. jjnashville says:

    Kudos to the tourism folk for not trying to cover it up.

    Perhaps they can switch their marketing based on an idea from here…

  22. Phrosty says:

    I was unaware that jellyfish ‘bite’. Thank you BoingBoing.

  23. DarwinSurvivor says:

    I highly doubt it was an Irukandji Jellyfish. If you get stung by one of those and take some pain medication and “sleep it off”, you will NOT be waking up the next morning.

  24. GuidoDavid says:

    I think the reason why pee works on some poisons is because it has lots of urea (an ammonium compound), so it makes proteins to precipitate, rendering insoluble and neutralizing them. In the lab we all the time precipitate proteins using ammonium sulphate.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Slept off an Irufascist attack overnight? Watch these two. The fun starts at minute 2.

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