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Two Deadly Box Jellyfish Species Found Breeding in Malaysia, Beach Goers Cautioned

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Two Deadly Species of Box Jellyfish Spotted in M'sian Beach, Beach Goers Cautioned - WORLD OF BUZZ
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For the longest time, Malaysians especially Penangites enjoy going to the beach and could jump into the sea without a care in the world. However, that’s not the case anymore.

Just recently, two species of box jellyfish that were previously unseen in Malaysian sea have been spotted along Penang’s coast and the number seems to be increasing as well!

These two life-threatening species are known as Chiropsoides buitendijki and Morbakka sp. 

Source: NY Times

You’d definitely want to avoid contact with them because their venom can cause Irukandji Syndrome, which carries symptoms such as,

  • Severe hypertension
  • Extreme lower back pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intense cramps
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Heart failure

Although they are not as deadly as the infamous Australian Box Jellyfish, these two species are still extremely dangerous to kids, the elderly and the weak ones, said marine biologist, Sim Yee Kwang.

Source: World Atlas

Fun fact: An Australian Box Jellyfish can kill an adult in just THREE minutes. 

Currently, the population density of these two species sits at two in every square kilometres of the sea up to 400 metres from the beach.

“As passive swimmers, they will move closer to shore during the neap tide when sea currents are weak. That is the most dangerous time for swimmers,” he said. 

Sim has been combing the coastline of a few places since July to catch some jellyfish. The largest box jellyfish he caught measures 18cm that was just 200 metres from the shore of Pantai Bersih, Butterworth.

“These are invasive species. Most likely, their larvae were carried to our waters in the ballasts of cargo ships” said the director of Cemacs, Prof Datuk Dr Aileen Tan. 

Perhaps the scarier part of this alarming issue is that the unpredictable weather may significantly change the sea’s temperature and salinity, thus causing a bloom of the deadly jellyfish around Penang and throughout the Straits of Melaka.

Source: JStor Daily

To illustrate just how dangerous these jellyfish are, just know that a 12-year-old boy who was swimming in Teluk Bahang earlier in February went into a coma for three days after getting stung by a jellyfish.

Only those who’ve been stung by a jellyfish would know exactly how painful it is. If you’re planning to go swimming in Penang, please be on the lookout for these box jellyfish species. 

 

Also read: If You’re Travelling to Thailand Soon, Watch Out for This Deadly Sea Creature!

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