Signs #8 – On the Beach

Last Updated on March 26, 2015 by Red Nomad OZ

Irukandji Warning Sign on Cairns Beach
Irukandji Warning Sign on Cairns Beach

Don’t panic!  As far as I’m aware, there are NO giant squid plaguing Australia’s northern beaches – despite the graphic on this sign!!

But no giant squid doesn’t mean there’s no danger.  What IS prevalent during October – May in Australia’s Far North is the Irukandji (carukia barnesi), one of the most virulent jellyfish in the world. Its sting (ie marine ‘Stinger’) brings on symptoms collectively called Irukandji syndrome and has caused death – although virtually invisible in the water.

And the vinegar below the sign?  No, it’s not a repellent – or an emergency condiment supply!!  If you’re stung – no, it’s not an ATTACK, jellyfish have no brain – vinegar MAY help alleviate the intense pain.

So how to enjoy the tropics without threat?

Lycra ‘stinger suits’ can stop stings , and many northern beaches erect ‘stinger nets’ to form a stinger-free swimming enclosure.

The nets may have kept out the stingers many years ago in Cairns when Pilchard, along with some locals waiting for a swim, observed the nets being set up at the beginning of the wet season. But the enclosure was finished, they saw a dark shape in the water inside the enclosure – clearly (!) not a jellyfish! What could it be? Yes, you guessed it – a crocodile!

Maybe you’re just better off in the pool …

Stay safe!!

PS  Yes, I’ve allowed myself the indulgence of a double negative (above).  But it IS nearly Xmas, so I know you’ll humour me!

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  1. @journeyingjames – Welcome! Yep – the size of the jellyfish IS misleading, but the sign sure catches your attention!! Come back and visit again!!

  2. here in the Philippines we have lotsa jellyfish and locals use vinegar to alleviate the pain too! the sign is freaky, its like the stingers are just as big as the humans, lol

  3. @Facing50Blog – HHHMMMmmm… I think I’d stick with vinegar! Wonder if the urine actually works??
    @Mary – what? And miss all that potential excitement? Hope your w/end is going good too!!
    @Oz Troopers – Welcome! Yep – plenty more where those came from! Thanx for visiting and following – hope to see you back here real soon!!

  4. Don’t you just love those OTT signposts? A little extreme & there are alot of them out there too!!
    Great read!! 🙂

  5. I got several stings from small jelly fish in the Bahamas when I was diving with a group of blokes. When I got back on deck the guide said that the best way to take the sting away is to pour urine on it…There was much chortlng and I had to go and hide before the wretched men all volunteered to help out and drench me:)

  6. @River – that sounds horrendous – I’ve never been in that situation, and hope never to be! The pain is so severe hospitalisation and drugs are generally required!
    @Betty – Negativity requires too much energy! So it’s really the lazy person’s way out …
    @LV – Same to you my dear! It’s always so great to hear from you too, and visit your lovely blog.
    @~Cheryl – it’s my pleasure! Thanx for the info, and Merry Xmas!

  7. Too late — I already panicked! Thank you for faithfully visiting my blogs; I do enjoy your comments! As for the heart sculpture, it is made of metal with a brushed texture. It can also be turned full circle, but I haven’t done that . . . yet! 🙂

  8. I always enjoy your blog ad the things you share. In your great country, you have so many choices of interest and beauty to feature. May you and family have a great and blessed holiday season.

  9. I remember a day spent on Bribie Island when we lived in Brisbane. We were relaxing on the beach and heard screaming that went on for ages from a child stung by jellyfish. I’ll never forget it. First aiders came and tried to help him, but an ambulance had to be called. One minute the water was fine, people swimming, next minute people were getting out as fast as they could as the jellyfish swarmed in. 35 years ago,it was the day before my second baby was born, and I can still hear it like it was yesterday.

  10. Crocs, stingers. I’ll stay out of the water. Is it the r in the month to avoid stingers? A friend who won’t eat oysters if there is an r in the month.

  11. @RetroRoamers – I guess it IS a kind of warning against nudity … Merry Xmas 2u, look forward to your updates!
    @Kath – Although it’s not that refreshing swimming in water around 28 degrees or so … I couldn’t believe everyone in FNQ had a pool/spa when the sea was so close!! I guess we adapt!!

  12. When we lived in Darwin it always amused me that during the ‘build up’ and the steaminess of the wet season, *that* was when the stingers were out and we couldn’t swim in the sea. No wonder every house had a pool or a spa….

  13. Hey there Red Nomads Oz

    At a quick glance of the your pikkie that was on my blog, I thought it may have been one of the signs that warn people about the nooodie types.

    Stingers are a lot worse I assure you!! Ouch!!!!!!!!

    Have a great Xmas, and watch for the updates on the chariots sooooooon!

    Cheers & beers

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