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article imageHuge, venomous new jellyfish found off of Australian coast

By Walter McDaniel     Aug 8, 2014 in Science
With huge spiders and deadly snakes nature in Australia is already a bit unforgiving. Keesingia gigas is the name of a new type of jellyfish which is adding to the danger with venomous stings.
Director Lisa-ann Gershwin discovered the animal during her work with Marine Stinger Advisory Services. She reports that it was first seen in the 1980s but no one had caught one until 2013. Only recently did they finish their findings on the organism at a level which was suitable for the public.
Other than the powerful venom within its body it has some big differences from other species. Not only does it look closer to a huge amoeba than a normal jellyfish it is often found without any tentacles. Scientists discovered that it does have tentacles but can do something with them few other life forms can. Apparently this sea life can shed tentacles when threatened, a behavior scientists are still studying.
Due to these factors it stands out from the earlier ones we have discovered. Interestingly while the Gigas is quite toxic this appears to have nothing to do with its size. As for the body it's 30-50 centimeters long which is huge for a jellyfish in the region, since some are as small as a nail. While this is true it is still dwarfed by some jellyfish in the Arctic. Another cousin exists in the same waters known as the Irukandji Jellyfish many call the most venomous creature in the world.
Scientists theorize that these wildlife cause the deadly Irukandji Syndrome. Irukandji Syndrome is treatable if caught shortly after symptoms show up. However if left untreated your blood pressure can skyrocket to dangerous levels and fluid collects in your lungs. Since the symptoms are sometimes delayed people die from this.
While in another part of the world these creatures might stand out in Australia the natural environment is normally deadly. For reasons scientists are still exploring creatures either migrated or evolved in the area with traits that make them powerful, fast and often extremely deadly. Even the bees there are seriously dangerous.
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