Last Updated: 7th Jun 2012
One of the nastier inhabitants of Australia’s warmer northern salt water seas, Box Jellyfish (commonly called ‘stingers’) are called Box Jellyfish because they look like, well, a box.
This species of jellyfish is a pale blue in colour the have up to 15 tentacles (which can often measure 3 metres or about 10 feet) on each corner. It’s the tentacles that can be deadly if you are stung.
Stingers usually like calm weather and are abundant particularly after rain. There is a distinct season (usually from October and lasts until April) Unless the beaches have protective stinger nets installed, it’s best not to swim off the beaches. You can also wear a purpose designed swim costume that protects you from the jellyfish tentacles.
The Great Barrier Reef is free of the Box Jellyfish through all the seasons so it is safe to swim on the reefs however it is best to be careful when swimming around the shores of coastal towns like Cairns in the north of the country.