Why Do Jellyfish Sting?
Jellyfish sting in order to get food. A jellyfish is a simple, primitive sea animal with a jelly-like body. Jellyfish live in the ocean and usually don’t bother anyone. They just float around and look weird, sometimes washing up on the beach.
A jellyfish jiggles like gelatin, and some just look like small, clear blobs. It eats other small creatures of the sea. The main part of the jellyfish’s body looks like an umbrella. Hanging down from the umbrella are string-like tentacles.
The tentacles are armed with stinging cells that contain a paralyzing poison. When a fish or other small sea animal brushes against the jellyfish, the jellyfish paralyzes the animal with its sting.
Then the tentacles pull the victim up to the jellyfish’s mouth, which is at the bottom of the umbrella. Unfortunately, that sting can be turned on people. Jellyfish can sting with their tentacles if they brush against you when you’re swimming in the ocean.
You also can get stung if you step on a jellyfish, even a dead one. Usually, jellyfish stings will hurt, but are not emergencies. Most cause pain, red marks, itching, numbness, or tingling.
But a few types of jellyfish (mainly found in Australia, the Philippines, the Indian Ocean, and central Pacific Ocean) are very dangerous, and can cause people to get very sick quickly.