Carukia barnesi (Irukandji Jellyfish)



Lives in the waters of northern Australia, specifically northern Queensland. It prefers to live in deep reef waters, though its size allows it ti be easily swept towards the shore by waves.


It is a box jellyfish, and is very small, with the diameter of its bell being between one and two centimeters. It is clear, and this combined with its size makes it virtually invisible in the water. It has four tentacles, one coming off each corner of its bell. Off of these tentacles it delivers its poison, which is one of the most deadly in the world.

Irukandji Syndrome:

Irukandji Syndrome develops after being stung by certain jellyfish. Though it is suspected that there are others, currently Carukia barnesi is the only jellyfish which is confirmed to cause the syndrome. Immediatly after the sting, only mild discomfort is felt. However, after about thirty minutes, severe symptoms to develop. These include profuse sweating, severe nausea and vomiting, goosebumps, severe and possibly incapacitating headache, heart palpitations, rapid, shallow breathing, severe back and muscle pain, high blood pressure, and anxiety with "a sense of impending doom". This mental state has caused patients to beg doctors to kill them, as they were sure that they would die. Irukandji Syndrome has caused at least two deaths, though it is suspected to have caused more that went undiagnosed. It is so hard to diagnose because of how small and painless the sting is, so the patient doesn't report a sting.


Kingdom: Anamalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Cubozoa
Order: Carybdeida
Species: C. barnesi