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Hawaii --> Activities --> Swimming --> Swimming Hazards --> Box Jellyfish in Hawaii

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Box Jellyfish in Hawaii

The species of jellyfish most often encountered by swimmers in Hawaii is "Carybdea alata", also known as "box jellyfish" because of the square shape of its body. The body of a box jellyfish is one to three inches long and the stinging tentacles can be up to two feet long. Hawaii's box jellyfish are unique among the world's jellyfish because their arrival on shore is very predictable. They come near the beach to spawn for a few days, 8 to 12 days after each full moon.

Box Jellyfish Swarm Once a Month in Hawaii
Box jellyfish cause the most problems for swimmers in Hawaii eight to twelve days after a full moon, but swimmers might occasionally encounter them at other times also. They are most frequently seen on the west and south shores of the islands. To find out if jellyfish are a problem on a particular beach, look for jellyfish on the beach along the waterline, read all posted signs, and talk to local lifeguards.

Oahu Box Jellyfish Calendar
This calendar published by the City and County of Honolulu predicts when jellyfish swarms will occur on the beaches of Oahu: Box Jellyfish Calendar



The Blob That Attacked Waikiki
An article by Katrina Outland of Hawaii Pacific University about Carybdea alata (box jellyfish) swarming the beaches of Oahu. Published in the Journal of Young Investigators.

First Aid for Box Jellyfish Stings
According to this article at Aloha.com, rinsing a jellyfish sting immediately with vinegar will prevent undischarged nematocysts from stinging. This article does not recommend common folk remedies such as meat tenderizer and human urine, because they can actually cause additional damage.

Video of a Box Jellyfish Swimming
This free online video clip of a box jellyfish swimming in Hawaiian waters is published on the Web site of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

See also:
- Other Swimming Hazards in Hawaii
- Water Activities in Hawaii



Related Links
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors

Elsewhere on the Web
Wikipedia Box Jellyfish Article
Aloha.com Box Jellyfish Article



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