Irukandji jellyfish are a kind of box jellyfish, which includes some of the world’s most venomous species. They are also one of the world’s smallest jellyfish but possess extremely powerful venom. It was named after the indigenous people of Queensland in Australia called Yirrganydji people.
The stings of Irukandji can be deadly and can result in a highly dangerous condition in what is known as Irukandji syndrome. In this condition, people can die from the stings as a result of cardiac arrest. Two of Irukandji’s species, the common kingslayer and Carukia barnesi are found to cause this syndrome.
About 16 species of this jellyfish are known. Among all species of Irukandji, the adult species are usually venomous rather than the juveniles. They can fire stingers from their tentacles into the prey.
Basically, there are a lump of tiny rings of red-colored stingers attached to its tentacles and its bell. Normally, the stingers are attached to the tentacles of the jellyfish only.
Carukia barnesi is highly venomous and a total venom in one jellyfish can kill 60 people. The sting of Irukandji is 100 times more powerful than cobra.
They are extremely small in size and measure about 1 cubic centimeter. The body of Irukandji is also transparent which is why it is extremely hard to spot. There are four long and slender tentacles attached to the bell while the size of this bell is about 5 millimeters in length and 25 millimeters in width. The length of the tentacles can be as long as 3.3 feet.
The primary diet of Irukandji consists of small fish.
Irukandji occupies the northern strip of Australian coastal waters.