Think you could handle a career jelly wrestling? You’ll get sweaty with the long hot sticky nights but here’s a tip – It doesn’t include buxom babes in skimpy bikini’s in a jelly filled blow up pool. For this type of wrestling, your pool is the warm tropical waters of North Queensland and your opponents are pulsating gelatinous jellies with deadly tentacles.
The aim? To try and collect these blobs of goop, while keeping away from the tentacles at all costs. The flat fettuccine-like tentacles are laced with billions of microscopic venomous filled harpoons that fire on contact. It’s life and death occupation as you come face to face with animals that can kill you in under 2 minutes flat if you’re silly enough to get too close and entangled in its tentacles.
That’s a typical day for world leading scientist Professor Jamie Seymour who wrestles jellies and a a zillion other deadly animals. In this video Jamie introduces you to the Big Box Jellyfish, the biggest blob from this fascinating family of cubozoans, with their trademark box-like head of ‘bell’ . Affectionately known as the ‘Big boxie’ it measures in at around 38cm, with 15 deadly tentacles that hang from each corner. These can measure up to 3 metres each. Add that all up and this equates to around 180 metres of impressive firepower as the tentacles are laced with billions of venomous harpoons called nematocysts.
It’s the deadliest animal on the planet. Pretty impressive for an animal that is made up of 96% water. The study of these animals and their venom profile has revealed some interesting discoveries which is helping scientists to better understand how it impacts people who have been unlucky enough to be stung and the methods for treatment.