Jellyfish are the most ancient species of multi-organ animals
on the planet as they have been present for more than 500 million years in the
seas. This makes them much older than even dinosaurs with some scientists
claiming that their presence on Earth could easily extend beyond 700 million
years. However, many people consider this name to be a misnomer since fishes
Appearing to have an umbrella shaped bell with thin tentacles
and a floating body it’s easy to distinguish Jellyfish from other sea animals.
Jellyfish have a wide range of colors similar to their habitat. While it can be
easy to spot colorful species, it may be difficult to spot them when their
color matches surroundings as they often have translucent skin.
Classified under the phylum Cnidaria, of animal kingdom jellyfish
can range in their size from nearly one millimeter to two meters depending on
the species and age. Jellyfish often use their bell to move through water by
sending contractions or pulsations through it. A collective group of jellyfish
is commonly referred to as a “bloom” or a “swarm”. Jellyfish don’t have
specialized internal systems for digestion, circulation or respiration. They
have very thin skin which allows for diffusion of oxygen through diffusion.
Due to a wide variety of jellyfish species, they can have
varying visions as well as lifetimes. A few jellyfish species have a lifespan
of mere hours while many can live up to months or a few years whereas the
species Turritopsis dohrnii is immortal due to its ability to transform back
into a polyp (young state) under certain conditions. Similarly, while many
jellyfish species have light sensitive organs instead of eyes, the box
jellyfish has 24 eyes with advanced vision capabilities.
Dangers Jellyfish pose to humans:
Despite looking calm and beautiful, jellyfish can easily
prove to be lethal for humans. Their tentacles release venom for paralyzing
their target. Although jellyfish generally do not attack humans, it’s very easy
to come in contact with their thin tentacles unknowingly. Many times jellyfish
can also attack humans on feeling threatened and contact with tentacles of even
a dead jellyfish releases the venom.
Sting of a jellyfish may not always require emergency but it
can still cause considerable discomfort. When swimming near to the beach, a
single sting can cause extreme pain along with numbness, itching and/or
tingling near the stung area. But jellyfish stings can prove to be lethal when
swimming far away from shore as numerous species release numbing and extremely
poisonous venom through their stings.
Coming across a bloom of considerably simple species of
jellyfish can quickly result in hundreds of stings within a few minutes. While
these stings are not lethal individually, they are enough to make a person
unconscious which can cause death when swimming alone.
Many types of jellyfish species including the sea wasp,
irukandji and Portuguese man o’ war have lethal venom in their sting. A single
sting of these jellyfish causes a critical situation on the shore. Having a
wide range of sizes, many times it is nearly impossible to spot small jellyfish
under frothy sea waves.
Risk of Jellyfish on beaches in Asia:
Since jellyfish are present on all oceans of Earth, it’s
nearly impossible to avoid encountering them in sea water at any location on
beaches in Asia. One of the most dangerous box jellyfish is also common along
the beaches of Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. Another deadly jellyfish
known as Portuguese Man of War are spread across the Indian and Pacific Ocean
making them a common occurrence in nations linked to them.
Recently however, jellyfish have started moving closer to
shores due to water pollution and numerous reports of large jellyfish have been
reported along the coasts of Japan. Similarly, large jellyfish capable of
delivering lethal stings have also been reported along the coasts of South
Korea by fishermen in the recent years.
In the South Asia region, jellyfish are more harmful as they
are tiny in size and transparent in color. Numerous deaths have been reported
in Malaysia, Singapore and India due to jellyfish stings over the past years.
While earlier jellyfish problems were limited to Australian
waters, now they are also a concern in Asian region. A large number of jellyfish
have started coming near Asian shores due to pollution and climate changes. During
summers, more people start going for diving and swimming on beach which leads
to increased cases of jellyfish stings.
Remedies for Jellyfish stings:
There are a number of remedies for jellyfish stings such as
vinegar and cold water to treat a jellyfish sting. However, many poisonous
stings require immediate medical attention and none of these treatments are available
off shore. Prevention is better than cure and hence the best remedy to avoid jellyfish
stings is by avoiding contact with their tentacles by wearing proper gear.
There are a number of stinger suits and dive skins which can
help in resisting against jellyfish stings. Still, the safest way to avoid any
contact is through the full body cover swimsuit which does not leave any area
exposed while providing tough protection.Divers also don’t need to worry about UV
protection or take any other measures to guard their skin as these swimsuits
offer strong and complete protection.
A full body cover swimsuit can easily defend against a large
jellyfish bloom without getting damaged. Swimmers also get comfort as these
swimsuits don’t let water and moisture reach the skin and allow people to swim
for hours. The material used in good quality swimsuits also helps in cutting
the water easily allowing the swimmer to move quickly without using much
Divers can also pair a full body cover swimsuit with oxygen
cylinders and torch for diving at low pressure depths. However, it is suggested
to use proper diving equipment when diving at greater depths as normal full body
cover swimsuits are not built to sustain high water pressure. Hence, people can
simply take their goggles and their full body cover swimsuit to avoid jellyfish
stings while swimming near beaches in Asia.