On your way to the beach? These huge blooms of jellyfish are heading there too. Just when you believed it is no longer dangerous to go into the water.

Box jellyfish
(Photo : Getty Images)

Hot Summer Day in Central Queensland  

It was a very hot summer day in central Queensland when the family of  Rachael Shardlow - her mother and father, Ruth Macklin and Geoff Shardlow, her elder brother Sam, and their dogs - decided to visit the water. But which water to be specific, is it river, lake, ocean?

Rachael, 10, insisted it was going to be a dam, at Lake Awoonga. Someone had said to her that there were crocodiles at Calliope River, and Rachael was frightened. But the lake was a sanctuary for wildlife: dogs are prohibited

Rachael would not change her mind - so her family called her bluff, getting into the car and driving off without Rachael. They had just gotten to the end of the street before Rachael agreed to come along calling her family to come back and take her.

Also Read: Watch Out! Here are the 8 Deadliest and Most Dangerous Animals in Australia

Injuries gotten by stings from box jellyfish
(Photo : Getty Images)

The Incident

At the Calliope River rest region, a well-known campsite about 14 miles the direction opposite to the flow of the stream from where it meets the Pacific, the 10-year-old was still too scared to go swimming. When her brother and a friend entered a bodyboard in the shallows, Rachael squeezed herself in the middle of them, dangling her legs in the water.

After some time, she began to scream. Her brother Sam, 13 at the time, pulled Rachael out of the water and took her to the riverbank, a huge gelatinous blob clung all over her left leg. A box jellyfish: the sea's deadliest creature had stung Rachael. Its venom halts the heart, causing the death of adults in just five minutes.

By grim fate, a box jellyfish had killed the brother of a camper close by and he knew to instantly rush back to his campsite in search of vinegar. Macklin says with the vinegar, the box jellyfish's tentacles retract and the jelly could be wiped off "like snot.

Box jellyfishes
(Photo : Getty Images)

How the Victim Survived

But the vision of Rachael had began to blur; she wasn't able to breathe. Rachael said, 'Am I going to die, Mum?' Those were her final words before passing out.

The victim's heartbeat was weak. She was given antivenom and taken to hospital while she was in an induced coma. Macklin says, "She woke up when we got to the hospital - that was the worst part." Her entire body was swinging up and down in pain.

The 10-year-old spent the following two days in a coma. Tentacles had touched 30% of her body. Her leg looked like black, bloody tree bark, the skin shattered with hot red welts. Her parents was afraid of permanent brain damage. 

Macklin says,  she was fine when she woke up. The encounter Rachael had was life or death, but just the sight of a jellyfish that is less harmful can be enough to make most swimmers dash out of the water.

Related Article: Deadly Box Jellyfish Antidote Discovered Using CRISPR Genome Editing

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