Danger! Beware!

There are many animals (and plants) in the oceans and seas that are poisonous. They may inject a poison into their victim, or their flesh may poison us if we eat it.

Jellyfish

The most ‘famous’ poisonous jellyfish is the sea wasp. This pale jellyfish with its long trailing tentacles can even kill humans. It is lucky for us that these jellyfish are found in only one place—off the northern and north-east coasts of Australia.

Normally, a jellyfish sting is not that serious. If you are stung, get out of the water. Don’t use your hands to brush stings off your skin. Use a towel, sand, clothing or even a stick. Soothing creams or sprays can then be used. If the sting is really bad, get to a doctor as soon as possible.

Sea snake

The chances of being bitten by a sea snake are pretty small. Generally, most sea snakes would rather swim away than bite you. Most people are bitten because they accidently stepped on the snake or trapped it so it felt threatened.

A sea snake usually has quite small fangs. But its poison is just as deadly as any land snake! If anyone is bitten by a sea snake, wrap a board, compression bandage over the bitten limb (arms and legs are most often bitten). Keep the patient calm and still and get medical help urgently!

Stonefish

The stonefish is an ugly looking creature usually found hiding in tide pools and among reefs. It belongs to the Scorpionfish family. Because of its shape and colouring (its camouflage), it is extremely hard to see. If it is stood on or picked up, it can jnject its poison through up to 18 spines. The pain from the sting can be so extreme it can make the victim unconscious. In many cases, the poison from a stonefish sting can be fatal!

There is a special antidote for stonefish stings. It was developed in Australia. Immediate medical help is required for anyone stung by a stonefish.

Stingrays

Stingrays are found in just about any of the world’s oceans, where the water is not too cold. They are generally burrowed into the mud or sand, well hiden on the ocean floor. A stingray’s sting is in its tail, which it can whip round with deadly force. Although the poison is rarely fatal—it is going to cause a lot of pain to anyone who is stung!

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