What Does A Box Jellyfish Look Like?
The fisherman carefully pulled them from the net holding the bell or head and pointed to the tentacles indicating a cut across the skin and severe pain.
A few months earlier I'd witnessed the devastating effects of a serious Box Jellyfish sting on human life but did not see the Box Jellyfish and here on the longtail boat I saw small jellyfish that looked unremarkable.
Weeks later I learned that those jellyfish were Cubozoan or Box Jellyfish. A few weeks later Thai marine scientists also 'discovered' these Box Jellyfish then suddenly the world 'discovered' the same Box Jellyfish.
The truth is they didn't just appear, washed up with the current or from a ship's balast, it is understood that they have been in Thai waters for a very very long time.
Sometimes if you don't know what to look for or if you aren't looking in the first place or perhaps just don't want to look, you won't see a thing.
They swim very quickly, as quick as the average human, and possess a primitive form of vision that senses light and shade and enables them to manoeuvre around rocks, coral and human legs - they prefer not to make contact as this potentially damages tentacles...all they want is a little fish or prawn.
There are 2 types of Cubozoans being Carybdeid (single tentacle Box Jellyfish - Morbakka, Irukanji etc) and Chirodropid (multi tentacle Box Jellyfish - Chironex, Chiropsalmus etc) with both types very present in Thai waters and both packing a seriously nasty sting.
Keep an eye out when you're in the water as one may well be looking back at you. If you do happen to see one steer clear as it will attempt to do if it has time and make sure you email me with the whereabouts!
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