The Rise of the Jellyfish

Posted in Blog on 6th March 2018

You may be wondering why we’re writing a blog about jellyfish when we usually protect people from avoiding insect and tick bites!? You may also be wondering why we’re even writing a blog about jellyfish in the first place. Well, the answer to both these ponders is because we make a clever device called a Zap-Ease® that takes away the sting of these venomous creatures (along with insects bites).

Over the past several decades, jellyfish populations have flourished around the world. They are unusual creatures, not least because of their shape. Jellyfish are one of the few organisms that benefit from global warming which is driving other species to the brink of extinction. Change in ocean currents, and sea temperatures along with a change in nutrients and prey availability all conspire to bring jellyfish together.

Both Bluefin tuna and several species of turtles eat the wobbly creations (no easy feat!). Unfortunately, both these animals have declined rapidly through overfishing and plastic waste which gets caught in turtles’ mouths after they eat plastic bags thinking they’re a jellyfish.

And we’ve been seeing the increase in jellyfish population occur before our eyes along the beaches of Florida where thousands of the Velella velella, or more commonly known ‘by-the-wind-sailor’ jellyfish, have been recently washed up. The sail-like structures on their backs, designed to help them sail away from land, have been getting caught in the strong winds, pushing them to the shore. Although this species of jellyfish isn’t venomous to humans, they travel with the Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish, which as their name suggests, is venomous to us. Their toxin leaves an extremely painful sting. Not good news for holiday makers in Florida, trying to enjoy some R and R on the beach.

It may come as a surprise, but jellyfish do not have a brain. That being said, their way of stinging certainly is clever. Their tentacles have organelles called nematocysts which contain stinging threads. And they are not short of these tiny venomous darts-like strands. Jellyfish tentacles have an amazing 800,000 nematocysts per square cm! When a jellyfish brushes up against another object, (perhaps an unsuspecting swimmer enjoying the beautiful Caribbean Sea) these threads uncoil, springing out tiny little venomous hypodermic syringes at the innocent victim, injecting their toxic venom into it. All in under a tenth of a second!

Sounds like painful stuff, and indeed it is if you are one of the
unsuspecting swimmer enjoying the beautiful Caribbean Sea. But rest assured, we have a device that is just as clever as the jellyfish’s stinging mechanism, to counteract the painful sting. I introduce to you our Zap Ease. A small and handy device that, with just a few clicks on the bitten area, will send a small electrical impulse to your brain to inhibit histamine release, which reduces the swelling and simultaneously takes away the urge to itch and scratch by releasing endorphins down the same neural pathway. It lasts for a thousand bites so you can use it for at least five years after purchase. Good news given that the jellyfish population is showing no signs of reducing.

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