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  #1  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:01 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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Jelly Fish

You sneaky, slimy, creepy, perfectly clear bastards! Brilliant blue or scarlet red, I can kinda deal with. Okay not deal with. But convince myself I have a fighting chance of spotting one of you pricks in the clear waters of the otherwise lovely Andaman sea. Perhaps more illusion than reality, I willingly admit, but at least it's something.

But no, you're all dinner plate size gelatinous nastiness that one can hardly detect when you're washed up dead on the beach! ( yes, yes, I do rejoice when I see your dead self baking in the sun!) Much less detect in the damn water!

And every damn book or authority tells a different time of day, season, tide condition to avoid, to reduce odds of contact. That's not terribly helpful, pricks!

Now I know, you're thinking, Geeze Elbows, if they're washing up on the seashore they are probably in the water, but I have been on many, many beaches where some hideous creature has washed ashore and swum without incident, clearly a one off kind of deal.

And yes, yes, there were tiny microscopic unseen jellies that, from time to time would give a swimmer a tiny zing, not unlike salt in a small cut, but they raised no welt, left not a mark, and everyone on the beach agreed only wusses and sucks would really let that interfere with their fun.

And then, one day, your number comes up. Okay, I admit there were some clues I chose to ignore. The sea was especially rough, but hey, who doesn't love a little wave action after days of perfect calm? And yes, it was not as crystal clear as calmer days, and there was tons of heretofore unseen seaweed clumps. And it was late in the afternoon when the tide was sweeping in, and I fully admit I was aiming to stay in the ocean and catch the wicked sunset in a two birds, one stone, kind of multitasking efficiency.

None of which excuses that clear jellyfishes are the devil's spawn. Know that I despise you with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. And while I am generally an animal lover you fully deserve to be wiped off the earth, and if I possessed the power you most certainly would be, this very day.

Fortunately, I possess pretty good reaction times, so my injury was not an actual maiming. Just a large unsightly welt or three, which stung like a dozen bees stings, remains swollen, and appears to want to become some sort of blood blister type deal. Makes sleeping difficult and wearing clothing I'll advised, still, a day later. None of the immediate suggestions really delivered the relief I sought either. Not the vinegar, not the hand sanitizer, not the balm, not the aloe. Short term relief but it's coming back for you. Probably in the night.

And certainly it could have been worse, by orders of magnitude. There are many more tender spots than an outer thigh, I'm aware. Poor solace. Stop pointing that out to me, or I'll put a jelly fish in your path, so help me!

And no, let me repeat, NO, I do not want you to pee on me. Stop suggesting that. Still. 24 hrs later!

Die you hideous creatures, Die I say!
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:08 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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From TVTropes' UsefulNotes page on Australian Wildlife:

Quote:
•Box Jellyfish.◊ The reason no one ever swims north of the Tropic of Capricorn in the summer. Can look almost transparent in the water, and people only tend to notice the sting once the venom has been pumped into their system. High risk of being deadly if not treated...really really quickly. Otherwise just hurts like holy hellfire. If you ever see a beach with bottles of purple liquid lying about, there's a chance of meeting box jellyfish—the stuff in the bottles is vinegar, which can neutralise the worst of the sting if administered right away. (The purple dye was because when they just had normal vinegar, people kept taking it away to put on their fish and chips.)
◦There was a story (uncertain if it's true) that a teenager went into the ocean on a dare and got stung. Even after the ambulance arrived and he had been sedated, he was still screaming in agony.
•Irukandji Jellyfish◊, which is about the size of the little fingernail of an adult human, and has very few known deaths. It does, however, cause Irukandji Syndrome, which is the most painful thing to ever happen. Ever. Also meant to be so fragile that you can't keep it in a tank; it'll die if it runs into the glass.
◦Up north they have a saying, "A box jellyfish will kill you. Irukandji will make you wish you were dead."
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:22 AM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Purple Vinegar would make a good band name for a local indie group -- if you have to ask, you ain't from 'round here.
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:48 AM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
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I usually never leave the house, but we went to Australia recently—the whole family was there—it was a ridiculous place. Located three quarters of a mile from the surface of the sun, people audibly crackling as they walk past you on the street. That's why they all barbecue, you don't need to cook somewhere like that, you just bring the shit out, fling it on a grill and it bursts into flames. It's not supposed to be inhabited, and when they're not doing that, frying themselves outside, they all fling themselves into the sea, which is inhabited almost exclusively by things designed to kill you; sharks, jellyfish, swimming knives, they're all in there.
- Dylan Moran
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:59 AM
slumtrimpet slumtrimpet is offline
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T - shirt:

Australia
- it's not supposed to be inhabited


I'd buy one.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2013, 11:21 AM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainglutton
Up north they have a saying, "A box jellyfish will kill you. Irukandji will make you wish you were dead."
Fair enough, but then that's 98% of Australian wildlife . The last 2% are koalas stoned out of their cute lil' gourds. Those will only try to take your head off if you bogart the eucalyptus.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:34 AM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
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I read the Bill Bryson book on the place years ago. Even since I've wondered how people live there without being half killed or even completely killed by some terrifying indigenous creatures. I mean sure in NJ we have bears and crazy pols and insane taxes but at least our beaches are generally free from little tiny things than can half kill you. Okay yeah we have Snooki but still . . .

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  #8  
Old 12-16-2013, 11:36 AM
El_Kabong El_Kabong is offline
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I've never been stung by a jellyfish in a swimming pool. I'm just sayin'.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2013, 12:20 PM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Jellyfish are fuckers. A Portuguese Man O' War stung me when I was four and I remember it vividly.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2013, 12:47 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
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How? Don't they just float there? Were you poking it with a stick or something?
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2013, 12:54 PM
Tethered Kite Tethered Kite is offline
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Oh bummer.

Those little ones are really sneaky.

Where I go they tell me that, while the immediate desire is to get water on them, that's not the right thing to do. Too late for that now.

Hope they heal quick.

Wonder if they still make Mexsana powder? That may help.

A wild guess - would something like Oralgel (T) or a numbing lotion help or aggravate?

Last edited by Tethered Kite; 12-16-2013 at 12:56 PM..
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2013, 07:53 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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And I'm not in Australia, the land of many sea horrors, I'm in Thailand, the land of smiles!

Off the west coast of the isthmus of Kra, on an island called Ko Lanta. But we'll be leaving here in a couple of days. To spend Christmas on the island of Ko Muk. Home to no roads but awesome snorkelling. Lanta has been nice, y'know, with the exception of this incident. The eating has been really awesome, and the seashell collecting, it's a very long and lovely beach!

I'm over the worst, it's still not pretty, a tad swollen, but mostly doesn't sting any more. I'm choosing to believe that I am now free to sea frolic with abandon, having already taken my lumps, literally.

I took a photo of the damage just to freak out my friends back home! Now I'll look for the largest jelly I can find on the beach for an accompanying photo. And when I tell the the story I doubt it will end with "I was pretty okay after about 24 hrs", either!
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2013, 09:16 AM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
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Don't forget the part where you rescued the nuns and orphans.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2013, 09:56 AM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Damn the jellyfish; damn all the jellyfish!

They are indeed insidious little twat rakers.

I remember growing up in Southern CA you'd see a nasty, transparent glop bobbing on the waves and everyone would immediately evacuate the water, screeching in terror, only to find out it was just an old sandwich bag. This happened so many times that we'd become complacent. "Don't worry, it's just a discarded sa AAAAAARGH!!"
Fuckers. And no, peeing on the sting will not help
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:00 AM
SerafinaPekala SerafinaPekala is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
How? Don't they just float there? Were you poking it with a stick or something?
Its their tentacles... they are loooonnnnnggggggg and you cant see them until too late.

Does beer help?
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:12 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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And, it seems, no matter how much you point that out, they all still want to pee on you! Pricks! I think they just want to return from vacation announcing they got to pee on some one.

And hotflungwok, I've decided against including the saving of the nuns and orphans, in favour of maintaining that stinging me actually killed the jelly fish! After all, I do have a picture of a large dead one I found on the beach!

I also have almost a full month to embellish the story, it should be a beaut by the time I get home again!

(Seriously though, I learned a hard lesson after my first adventure to the tropics, years ago. Any story of giant bugs, snakes in bungalows, or anything poisonous will stick to you like gum to the cat. All of your tales of remarkable adventure of exciting, safe, encounters with remarkable wildlife will fall on deaf ears and you will repeatedly be instructed, " Tell them about the cobra in the bathroom! Tell them! Tell them!" I advise caution when repeating such adventures, tread carefully. I expect jelly fish stories fall into this category!)

On the other hand, should I come off as brave beyond measure, stoic to a fault, and, dare I say it, well nigh indestructible, well, where's the harm in that? Right?
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:15 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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I was not poking it with a stick, I assure you. And it wasn't tentacled, not the long stringy type anyway. I just bumped into it. Or it bumped in to me. Hard to tell. I swear they are all but perfectly clear!

And no, beer doesn't help. At least not applied topically.

Last edited by elbows; 12-17-2013 at 10:16 AM..
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:31 AM
Athena Athena is offline
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Y'know, everyone likes to bitch about Lake Superior being cold, but you know what it is? Absolutely free of jellyfish. And sharks. Unsalted, too, so when you get out, you feel clean. Lake Superior ftw!
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2013, 11:10 AM
vontsira vontsira is offline
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I think Ogden Nash summed it up nicely:


"Who wants my jellyfish?

I'm not sellyfish."
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  #20  
Old 12-17-2013, 01:56 PM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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The Cone Snail is the most nightmare inducing for me. Jellyfish are merely unseen and unpredictable in their agonizing bringing of death. Cone snails deliberately lure you in, you die knowing full well that it was your own coveting of cosmetic trinkets that led to your downfall.

"Mommy mommy! Look at the pretty seashe--" *zap* *screams* *convulsions* *despair*...and the snail crawls off down the strand, forgotten in the ensuing confusion, and spies a lone pink plastic shovel and bucket to curl up silently beside...waiting...listening...licking its harpoon barb in anticipation...
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  #21  
Old 12-17-2013, 02:29 PM
Happy Fun Ball Happy Fun Ball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
And I'm not in Australia, the land of many sea horrors, I'm in Thailand, the land of smiles!

Off the west coast of the isthmus of Kra, on an island called Ko Lanta. But we'll be leaving here in a couple of days. To spend Christmas on the island of Ko Muk. Home to no roads but awesome snorkelling. Lanta has been nice, y'know, with the exception of this incident. The eating has been really awesome, and the seashell collecting, it's a very long and lovely beach!

I'm over the worst, it's still not pretty, a tad swollen, but mostly doesn't sting any more. I'm choosing to believe that I am now free to sea frolic with abandon, having already taken my lumps, literally.

I took a photo of the damage just to freak out my friends back home! Now I'll look for the largest jelly I can find on the beach for an accompanying photo. And when I tell the the story I doubt it will end with "I was pretty okay after about 24 hrs", either!
Fabulous place, I was there for a week about 10 years ago. We then went and stayed 5 days out at Koh Lipe (sp?) which was even more breathtaking... Best trip I ever had. I am really, really jealous!
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2013, 02:33 PM
Happy Fun Ball Happy Fun Ball is offline
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Oh, and by the way, when I was there I swam face first into one of the dinner plate sized clear and red ones. I remember it was bad, but the memory is kind hazy. Worse, one of the people we were with stepped on a sea urchin and the spines broke off in his foot.

Meh, nothing but good memories really.
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2013, 06:48 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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First Ko Muk, over Christmas, then Ko Lipe, then something along the Malay coast, then Meleka, finishing in Singapore and then home to several feet of snow, and cold, cold reality, mid January.

Previous journeys were always timed to bring us home in spring or summer, returning to the very dead of winter ought to be an interesting adjustment!

"But I'll think about that another day!" ala Scarlett O'Hara!
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2013, 08:25 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GargoyleWB View Post
The Cone Snail is the most nightmare inducing for me. Jellyfish are merely unseen and unpredictable in their agonizing bringing of death. Cone snails deliberately lure you in, you die knowing full well that it was your own coveting of cosmetic trinkets that led to your downfall.

"Mommy mommy! Look at the pretty seashe--" *zap* *screams* *convulsions* *despair*...and the snail crawls off down the strand, forgotten in the ensuing confusion, and spies a lone pink plastic shovel and bucket to curl up silently beside...waiting...listening...licking its harpoon barb in anticipation...
Good god that was funny!
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:24 AM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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We have box jellyfish sightings around our islands but the non-venomous ones are bad enough. A recent swarming near the shore clogged the cooling intake of one of our biggest thermal plants, causing a shut down and power outages throughout the main island. The news report (cannot be trusted for accuracy) says the power company hauled out 50 truckloads of jellyfish.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:52 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
then something along the Malay coast,
Definitely make your destination Pulau Pangkor Laut. Not to be missed if you can help it. The place is a rare gem.

Quote:
then Meleka
Melaka (a.k.a. Malacca).
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  #27  
Old 12-18-2013, 06:34 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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I'm considering Pangkor, Penang (just for the eats!), or possibly Langkawi. Meeting friends in Melaka, (again, partly for the eats!), then stay with them in S'pore, and y'know, eat a lot, before returning to the land of ice and snow. With full bellies, clearly!

Last edited by elbows; 12-18-2013 at 06:35 AM..
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  #28  
Old 12-18-2013, 06:56 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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Did you mean Pangkor Laut Resort? Or just the island? If not the resort, where did you stay? Any place less expensive perhaps? Thanks for the tip. I've visited Pangkor before but never Pangkor Laut and would love to hear more about it!
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  #29  
Old 12-18-2013, 08:08 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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I was stung by a box jellyfish the day after my tenth birthday. The fucker was already dead - there was a regatta in the bay the beach was on, and apparently the boats slice them up into smaller parcels of death - and still damn near killed me. Adrenaline shot in the chest near. The worst part was passing out in the beach club bar and waking up naked to people dousing me with vinegar.
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  #30  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:52 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Pangkor Laut is a smaller island next to Pangkor, the resort there is quite luxurious, and Emerald Cove is rated one of the best beaches in the world. Laut means 'the sea' because this island is a little farther out to sea than the big Pangkor. I remember on the ferry over, in the strait between the mainland and Pangkor, seeing basketball-sized ghostly white jellyfish floating and trailing their tentacles. However, Emerald Cove is on the opposite side of Pangkor Laut, and snorkeling there I found no jellyfish, unless it was those tiny ones you mentioned who give little stings but can basically be ignored. They have a net across the entrance to the cove which I think must be screening out the bigger jellyfish.

Langkawi is a beautiful island, but has been heavily developed for tourism. Nonetheless, if you hike up to the waterfall there, it's a lovely, relaxing spot.

Last edited by Johanna; 12-18-2013 at 10:57 AM..
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  #31  
Old 12-18-2013, 11:53 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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They say having someone piss on your jellyfish stings helps immensely. I've never had the opportunity to try this, but it sounds like a great way to find a date.
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  #32  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:40 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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They say having someone piss on your jellyfish stings helps immensely. I've never had the opportunity to try this, but it sounds like a great way to find a date.
It's generally a bad idea. You pour vinegar on it (except Man o' War stings.)
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  #33  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:49 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Why dey call dem Jelly Fish when no can eat on toast?
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  #34  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:02 PM
Icarus Icarus is offline
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Why dey call dem Jelly Fish when no can eat on toast?
....well, you actually can Jellyfish recipe
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  #35  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:21 PM
Dr. Woo Dr. Woo is offline
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Ugh. One of my nightmare replays is the time I was playing in the surf in So Cal and looked up to see an 8-ft wave studded with jellyfish just about to break over me. I tried mightily to run, but I was pounded by the wave and roundly stung.

The sight of the relentlessly advancing wave with all the jellies was worse than the stings, but it still was an uncomfortable night.
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  #36  
Old 12-18-2013, 06:38 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
It's generally a bad idea. You pour vinegar on it (except Man o' War stings.)
Can you piss on the victim after applying vinegar? Just for grins.
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  #37  
Old 12-18-2013, 07:37 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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4 days later, and still no let up in the number of people willing to pee on me!
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  #38  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:40 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Enjoy it while you can. Own it!
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