Can a Jellyfish's Tentacles Sting after Separation from Its Body?

Jellyfish tentacles are still able to sting after separation from the creature's body or even after it is dead. Stings from jellyfish tentacles that are separated from the body typically occur because of ocean tides that scatter them in the water. Jellyfish tentacles contain specialized cells that are activated by touch to release the venomous stingers. Even if a jellyfish is dead, its tentacles are able to be activated and sting prey, emitting toxins that can cause pain or severe allergic reactions — or even death in humans, in rare cases.

More about jellyfish:

  • A jellyfish typically consists of about 95% water, and the remaining portion is mostly a gelatinous material called mesoglea.

  • More than 900 million pounds (425,000 tons) of jellyfish are caught and consumed by humans each year, mainly in Southeast Asia.

  • Jellyfish are thought to date to more than 500 million years ago and to have been the first animals to have a nervous system, as well as the first creatures to use muscles to swim rather than just drifting in the water.
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