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Sea Wasps: The Deadliest Known Creature

What is the deadliest known creature? It's the sea wasp!

jellyfish

Photo: Jenny Kirkhart (flickr)

This is a very dangerous creature! The sea wasp jellyfish!

The deadliest known creature is a jellyfish called the Sea Wasp.

Like all jellyfish, sea wasps are translucent, boneless creatures whose bodies are made of ninety-five percent water. They don’t even have a brain! But sea wasps do have up to sixty tentacles as long as ten feet each dangling from their bell-shaped bodies. The tentacles contain thousands of stinging cells called nematocysts. When the cells come into contact with a fish or with human skin, they release their deadly poison. With enough contact, the poison can kill in just a few minutes by shocking the heart and paralyzing the lungs.

Sea wasps live mainly off the north coast of Australia, and Aussie lifeguards have come up with ways to prevent getting stung. Since the venom is triggered by chemicals in human skin, Aussie swimmers often wear pantyhose and wetsuits on their arms and legs in sea wasp infested waters. It may not be comfortable, but the extra attire makes the sea wasp a little less deadly.

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