A bonaire banded box jellyfish, Tamoya ohboya
Ned DeLoach

Box Jellyfish: One Species at a Time

Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media

In this episode of the Podcast of Life, learn how three fiery, painful stings during an early morning swim in Hawaii changed the life of researcher Angel Yanagihara. Once the young biochemist had recovered from her box jelly encounter, Carybdea alata had her full attention. Now she works to unlock the secrets of venom of these beautiful, and sometimes dangerous, angels of the sea.

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Submitted by Ralph Dodge (not verified) on

I worked as a beach lifeguard here in Florida during the mid sixties and had to deal with the sings of the Portuguese Man-O-War. We were provided with information from the studies the University of Miami marine department which helped us treat the stings of the swimmers. First we removed the tenticles with our fingers followed by rubbing the area with cotton saturaned with alcohol. This method was to pop the poisonous sacks, and to some degree nutralize the poison. We also used a meat tenderizer whitch was suppose to nutralize the protein in the toxins.

Submitted by Angel Yanagihara (not verified) on

Current recommendations based upon field and laboratory studies are to douse the sting site with vinegar followed by hot water immersion. It is not recommended that the tentacles be touched with bare fingers. Alcohol was shown by many studies to prompt more stinging cells to discharge (potentially into the sting victim) and is not recommended. Meat tenderizer (papain) is no better than a placebo and cannot penetrate skin to the depth that the stinging cell tubules inject the venom. http://www.academia.edu/6250070/Box_Jelly_Safety_-_Practical_Steps_Summary