18 May Jellyfish in Khao Lak
Jellyfish in Khao Lak
Especially in the rainy season a lot of jellyfish appear in Thailand. It is windy this time of year, and with the wind the flow is stronger, whereby the jellyfishes are washed up close to the beach. In the water you usually don’t see the animals, so the shock is bigger when it burns strongly and suddenly hurts.
Jellyfish, also known as Medusa, are cnidarians. There are many innumerable kinds of them. Most live unexplored deep in the ocean. They usually have an umbrella likely body and very long tentacles that are studded with stinging cells. With their tentacles they catch their food and ward off enemies. They use the stinging cells to poison small aquatic animals, as it has a paralyzing effect on them. Their prey includes fish larvae, plankton and crustaceans. Larger species eat small fish and other small species of Medusa.
The jellyfish in Khao Lak are simple species that are completely harmless. When you touch its tentacles it will form a pustules on the skin. About an hour after the stabbing the pain and the pustules recede. Sometimes after several days you can still see small red spots on the skin, which don’t hurt and will disappear on their own. Contact with the stinging cells of jellyfish can be compared to a small combustion.
Who does not want to wait an hour, can use vinegar as remedy, it neutralizes the venom of the jellyfish. The same effect can have a mushy mixture whose main component is Morning Glory. Among divers there is this rumor circulating that urine can help against the pain. Whether it is actually the urine, or just the distraction, through this, I can not tell you unfortunately. Vinegar helps in any case, because it prevents that the poison of the stinging cells does not explode anymore, which is strongly basic neutralized. Alcohol and water would have as consequence the opposite. Lemon and other acidic liquids should also help.
Many people think that the jellyfish who are washed to the beach are already dead. That’s not right. They only die after several hours out of water. So if you find a jellyfish on the beach, you should bury it deep into the sand in order to avoid that anyone else steps on it.
Are there dangerous jellyfish in Khao Lak?
Fire Medusa and Box Jellyfish does not exist in Thailand and certainly not on the west coast. On the island of Koh Samui, on the east coast, there was an incident in 2015 caused by a box jellyfish, in which, unfortunately, a tourist died. On this day many other people were in the water, none of which came in contact with the Medusa. It is approved that the jellyfish has landed there only by an unfortunate accidents. A logical explanation for that would be that it was detained during the loading of a container ship in Australia, and came free again when unloading the ship in Thailand. That the flow has deported a single jellyfish many thousands of kilometers, is highly unlikely. Even more unlikely it is that it had come so far by itself. Jellyfish can in fact, contrary to many assumptions, actively move. They can put in one hour up to 10 km back. However, they can only swim against the flow for a short time.
The dangerous box jellyfish live, like I mentioned above, in the Australian coast. They are among the Medusa that eat small fish. Those who come in contact with their up to 3 meters long tentacle, should be brought immediately outside the water. Important is that they move as little as possible, so that the poison is not widespread. Put vinegar, zinc or sand on the contaminated spot call immediately a doctor. Victims may become weak and, at worst, the heart may stop beating. Their bodies will most likely have a scar.
From the jellyfish in Thailand you have to have no fear. It may be that some people are allergic to it, who fears that, can be tested by a doctor.