You know it's summer when...our fauna is at its most vicious. First of the 'OMG that was a close call' stories of the season:
Stinger girl stable after 'worst nightmare'
'A 10-year-old girl stung by a box jellyfish in central Queensland at the weekend may be in hospital for at least another week.
A spokeswoman from the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) in Brisbane says Rachael Shardlow was stung on both legs and her left forearm while she was swimming in the Calliope River near Gladstone on Saturday.
Her parents drove her to meet an ambulance and she was treated in Gladstone before being taken to the RCH.
An RCH spokeswoman says the girl is in a stable condition.
Rachael's 12-year-old brother, Sam Shardlow, was also stung but was not injured.
He says he was also stung on the foot and that it was a traumatic experience.
"Rachel was swimming and she started screaming and she was like yelling out, 'get this slimy fish off me, get this fish off me'," he said. "She got to shore and then she went up the bank and she was like, 'I can't see' and she laid down on the ground and got vinegar over her.
"She said, 'am I going to die?' She just laid there for a while."
Their father says she is lucky to be alive and that doctors in Brisbane are amazed at her recovery. Father Geoff Shardlow says the tentacles have left burns on his daughter's legs, arms and stomach, but she is conscious and in good spirits.
He has told the ABC that his daughter had stopped breathing and was turning blue after she was stung, but he performed first aid in the car.
"It was every worst nightmare, you can have every training course in the world and I've got senior first aid certificates and I'm trained in CPR - I used to do lifesaving since I was 16 - but when it's your own daughter in your arms, it all just comes back into place," he said.'
Terrifying stuff. Particularly when you read up on the details...
The Indo-Pacific or Australian box jellyfish (Chironex Fleckeri) is claimed to be the most venomous marine animal known to mankind and its sting is often fatal.
This extremely poisonous marine stinger frequents Australia's northern oceans all year round. However, it is particularly dangerous during the wet season, from about November to April.
Stings of Chironex fleckeri have several very severe consequences, due to its cardiotoxic (effect on the heart), neurotoxic (damage to the nerves) and dermatonecrotic (effect on the skin) components.
What does that mean? To start with it is not uncommon for victims who have had extensive contact (three metres of tentacles touching the skin can be enough to be fatal) to experience cardiac arrest within minutes.
Even if that is not the case the pain from a sting is so excruciating and overwhelming that a victim can immediately go into shock, fatal if the victim is swimming alone. Someone stung while swimming will rarely be able to make it back to shore on their own.
The tentacles stick tightly to the skin and may continue to release venom if not treated correctly, making things worse. Severe stings can lead to necrosis of the affected tissue (which means it gets eaten away...), which is where the nasty scars come from.
The severity of a sting depends on the size of the box jellyfish, the amount of tentacles involved, the size of the victim (children are obviously more vulnerable), but also on the sensitivity of the skin of the victim.
Poor kid Looks like she may have some bad disfiguring scars from the attack. But she's alive...
Remember reading a report once about this guy who got stung by an irukandji jellyfish and it was said that even though unconscious, he was still screaming...
Irukandji syndrome is produced by a very small amount of venom and includes severe pains at various parts of the body (typically excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face), headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, high heart rate and blood pressure, and psychological phenomena (such as the feeling of impending death).
A whole other level of badass
Per capita, we have way more deadly things than just about anywhere...I was looking for an old thread here where I catalogued all the native evilness I could think of, but I couldn't find it. Maybe something killed it lol
I would so hate to get beat up by a killer lewgee.
On the bright side, i've learned that if you run over a jellyfish (the common kind in the gulf of mexico) with an outboard motor at night, it makes a pretty lightshow. Maybe when she recovers, her dad can take her out motoring to watch the fireworks. The first time i saw this, i immediately wondered if my smoking material had been contaminated by something heavy.
Well I'm honoured my lil country could move you to that sentiment, skull. Aww shucks!
Apparently the reason so many things are adept at killing is the relative unavailablity of prey...if there's not much going round, when something does find food, ya gotta makes sure that first bite/sting WORKS lol