Vacationers to the Hawaiian island of Oahu are being warned to avoid going into the ocean today, as hundreds, if not thousands, of lethal jellyfish swarm the coast. They’re hitting the coast in abnormal quantities in recent days.
Box jellyfish normally come near Oahu’s shores several days after a full moon. Visitors and residents can check the jellyfish arrival prediction calendar to know when to be on the look out.
Box jellyfish uses the most deadly venom in the animal kingdom, killing 5,567 since recorded deaths began in 1884, and are mostly found in the waters of Australia. A box jellyfish’s sting attacks the heart, nervous system and skin cells and is so powerful, victims have been known to go into shock and die of heart failure before they even have the chance to reach the shore.
Box jellies are pale blue and transparent in color, have up to 15 tentacles and can reach over 10 feet in length! Each tentacle has more than 5,000 stings triggered by chemicals released from a prey’s skin.
What makes box jellyfish particular dangerous is that, unlike other jellyfish, box jellyfish are able to power their way through the water at up to four knots (as fast as a small boat).
If you do plan on going into the water of Oahu this week, pay extra attention if you’re at the following locations:
- Hanauma Bay
- Pokai Bay
- Makaha surfing beach
- Waimea Bay
If you’re stung, look for a lifeguard station, as they’ll have supplies for treating any wounds.
It’s probably best to avoid these areas completely for the next couple of days.