SWIM SAFETY: Stuart Kininmonth spotted what he believes to be a box jellyfish, a fire jelly – Morbakka, at Workman's Beach recently.
SWIM SAFETY: Stuart Kininmonth spotted what he believes to be a box jellyfish, a fire jelly – Morbakka, at Workman's Beach recently.

LIFE THREATENING: What you need to know about fire jelly

The scientist who named and classified the Morbakka fenneri has shared everything you need to know about the jellyfish spotted at Workman's Beach this week.

Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin this type of box jellyfish and while it doesn't swarm like some Irukandji tend to, it has that same dangerous trait - Irukandji syndrome.

Dr Gershwin said the puzzling thing about Morbakka was that while the sting undoubtedly hurts, hence the term fire jelly, for some people they feel a little sick and aching pain.

Where others are put on life support.

Dr Gershwin said this jellyfish could be life threatening, and potentially lethal.

If you come across a Morbakka, "don't touch it".

 

Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin named and classified the Morbakka fenneri jellyfish in 2008. This type of jellyfish was recently found at Workman's Beach near Agnes Water.
Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin named and classified the Morbakka fenneri jellyfish in 2008. This type of jellyfish was recently found at Workman's Beach near Agnes Water.

Given how dangerous it can be, Dr Gershwin said the public should report it to surf life savers, the council or some local authority and described it as a type of jellyfish that causes Irukandji syndrome.

If you are unfortunate enough to be stung by a fire jelly, apply vinegar - any type of vinegar - as soon as possible and seek medical assistance.

Dr Gershwin said for some people when you get a sting, it's not until about 20 minutes later that you feel "horrifically ill".

While vinegar does not necessarily stop the pain you feel from the sting, it stops the stinging cells from releasing more venom and doing more damage.

"The pain won't kill you, the venom does," she said.

Dr Gershwin said it was important that you enjoyed your time at the beach safely, understanding what the risks were and how to prevent them and treat them.

While this type of jellyfish isn't prone to Agnes Water or Seventeen Seventy, Dr Gershwin said it wasn't surprising given that it is prone in areas north and south of the region; from Mackay to Moreton Bay.

 

SWIM SAFETY: Stuart Kininmonth spotted what he believes to be a box jellyfish, a fire jelly – Morbakka, at Workman's Beach recently.
SWIM SAFETY: Stuart Kininmonth spotted what he believes to be a box jellyfish, a fire jelly – Morbakka, at Workman's Beach recently.

 

Dr Gershwin said the name Morbakka had ties to Moreton Bay and was the name given to this jellyfish in '85.

However, it was never officially classified and named until 2008, when Dr Gershwin dubbed it Morbakka fenneri, a nod to the jellyfish's history and fellow researcher Peter Fenner.

 

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FIRE JELLY': Reported box jellyfish found on regional beach

 

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