We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Irukandji Jellyfish?

By H. Lo
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An Irukandji jellyfish is a type of venomous jellyfish that produces a condition in humans called Irukandji syndrome. Although experts suspect that there are several species of Irukandji jellyfish, the only two species identified to cause Irukandji syndrome so far are Carukia barnesi and Malo kingi. Irukandji jellyfish are usually found in tropical waters around Australia, but there are reports of Irukandji syndrome occurring in other parts of the world as well. In Australia, cases of Irukandji syndrome mostly occur between the months of November and May.

Since Irukandji jellyfish are identified by their ability to cause Irukandji syndrome, it is a good idea to understand the illness. “Irukandji” is the name of a group of indigenous people who lived near the north Queensland coast. In the 1950s, the name was given to the syndrome by a doctor examining people in the area who were suffering from symptoms of the illness. Examples of these symptoms are severe back pain, headache and elevated blood pressure. In addition, other symptoms include muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Initially, a person who is stung might feel only a minor sting, if he feels anything at all. Within five to 45 minutes, though, characteristic symptoms of Irukandji syndrome will appear. There is no antidote for Irukandji syndrome and death can occur as a result of a sting. A person who exhibits symptoms of the syndrome should pour vinegar onto the sting for first aid treatment. He should go to the hospital for further medical attention.

The first species identified to cause Irukandji syndrome was Carukia barnesi in the 1960s. Named after the doctor who connected its sting with the syndrome, Carukia barnesi are small box jellyfish. They range from about 0.78 inches (2 centimeters) to 3.93 inches (10 centimeters) in size. Attached to their transparent bodies at each corner is a tentacle. The jellyfish’s transparency makes it difficult to see and, therefore, a dangerous threat to anyone in the water nearby.

For a long time, no other species were identified to also cause Irukandji syndrome. Malo kingi, another small box jellyfish, was finally discovered in 1999, although it did not receive its name until a few years after an American tourist died in Australia from a sting in 2002. This jellyfish, named in honor of the tourist, is described as having rings of tissues encircling its tentacles. It is thought to be one of the world’s most potently venomous animals despite the fact that it is smaller than a thumbnail in size.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.