Though jellyfish tend to be the weirdest things, and thus one of the most fascinating, creatures in the ocean they’re also some of the most dangerous. From stepping on jellies that washed up on a shore to getting tangled in their tentacles while you relax in the water, if you frequently visit beaches, you likely have some close encounters with these goops of pain. Luckily, though, the most terrifying of the bunch are generally floating farther away than you’re likely to swim — such as a newly discovered, extremely venomous jelly that is baffling scientists because it doesn’t have any noticeable tentacles.
Discovered off the coast of where most monsters live in this world, Australia, the Keesingia gigas jellyfish was discovered
by Lisa-ann Gershwin, of the Marine Stringer Advisory Services. The
Keesingia is of a species of jelly, the Irukandji, that is usually as a
small as a fingernail. The Keesingia is about the length of an arm, and
scientists believe it can cause Irukandji syndrome, which can cause cardiac arrest within 20 minutes and kills its victim if not immediately treated.
The Keesingia was first photographed back in 1980, and the first live
specimen was caught just last year, by its namesake John Keesing. As
far as scientists can tell, though, the Keesingia gigas doesn’t have any
tentacles — something all jellyfish
have in order to catch food. The tentacles of a jellyfish contain a
concentration of its stinging cells, which is how it attacks prey and
unlucky beach-goers. Strangely, though, scientists working with the
jelly have been stung by it despite its apparent lack of tentacles, and
have even contracted Irukandji syndrome.
Despite the lack of visible tentacles, scientists feel that the
Keesingia does have them. The running theory is that, thanks to random
chance, the jellies that were photographed and captured over the years
simply lost them for one reason or another. Whatever the actual
explanation, Gershwin feels it’ll be “fairly tame.”
The Keesingia are found all over the world, so if you’re afraid of
giant, venomous jellyfish that can give you Irukandji syndrome, just
try be aware of your surroundings, and don’t swim into a giant pack of
jellyfish for fun.