Box Jelly Fish

Box Jelly Fish stings are not that uncommon off the coast of Texas, Florida and even Connecticut. Caution always advised when going into the ocean. We focus on basic treatment in the field. Some costal hospitals are now carrying the antivenin.

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Survive Outdoors looked at the Box Jelly fish for a few reasons. 1. It is interesting that it’s a critter in the wild that is extremely lethal and the venom is unique. Its lethality is much more concerning than shark attacks. Although rare in the United States, it has occurred off the coast of Texas, Florida, Connecticut and in January 2020, Hawaii reported over 30 people being stung in Hunauma Bay on the island of Oahu. This bay is a shallow bay area and had quiet waters conducive for this jelly fish. There are three types of Box Jelly fish and Hawaii has some of the least venomous. Nevertheless, they still can be lethal. The different species of Box Jelly fish can be separated into two types; 1. Cubozoans and Carybdeids. The Cubozoans have more than one tentacle hanging from each corner and Carybdeids have only one tentacle. The Cubozoans are more lethal.

Sea Wasp

Each sea wasp jelly fish has enough venom to kill 60 adult humans. A sting from this jelly fish can kill a human in four minutes. It can be as large as a soccer ball and its tentacles can grow to 15 feet. It is common off the coast of Australia, Philippines and Vietnam.


This species is very small with about a one inch body and one tentacle per corner. The tentacles can reach 27 feet.  Its sting is not severe on a pain scale and resembles that of a mosquito bite however, within minutes the skin becomes very red and painful. The following are common symptoms after the bite. Muscle pain, back pain, muscle spasm, priapism (a sustained erection), nausea, and emesis. You can get chest tightness, have difficulty breathing and cardiac collapse.


The Mangrove box jellyfish is common in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is about the size of a golf ball and is often in large groups.


Treatment is directly related on severity of envenomation and symptoms presenting. There is an anti-venom, however, it is not that readily available in the United States. In the field, caution must be used not to jostle the patient as it may exacerbate more venom from the stingers or cysts from the tentacles. Urinating on the wounds is NOT recommended. Vinegar is beneficial when used ASAP and copious amounts of irrigation. Scraping the cysts is much more effective them pulling them out as that will inject more venom as opposed to honey bee stings where scrapping or pulling out the stinger shows no difference in envenomation. Even duct tape has been found to be useful in removing jelly fish nematocysts.