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Thailand forum

Jellyfish

Posted by kriskeogh on 17/2/2012 at 12:38

One of my three phobias in life alongside Kate Bush and escalators

Joking aside, are they an issue for regular tourists just bobbing about in the sea and going on snorkelling trips

Have swam in Egypt in the red sea, no probs, have been to Mexico and Bahamas, no prob.

I am less scared of sharks and sea snakes than I am of these bloody critters.

I have even looked at a stinger suit, yes thats how much it bothers me.

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Posted by sayadian on 18/2/2012 at 20:58

The trick is never scratch the sting,it's a temptation, I know but it makes it 10* worse.
Use an anti-histamine.Probably the most effective treatment.

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Posted by MADMAC on 19/2/2012 at 02:23

Sayadian I think he wants to know how to avoid getting stung altogether.

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Posted by busylizzy on 19/2/2012 at 02:31

I think jellyfish are a bit seasonal, although I don't what drives that. I just read a few days ago about jellyfish in the waters off of Bali (or maybe it was the Gili's). I know that here in NZ in our spring time (Nov/Dec) some of our east coast beaches get massive dinner-plate sized ones. And at other times, we get nasty blue-bottles on the west coast beaches.

Honestly I wouldn't lose any sleep over it until you get there - and then just assess the situation once you are there. You can't do much about it meanwhile. I've enjoyed swimming and snorkling at various SEA islands and beaches at different times of year and haven't had any problems. But if I went back a week later, who knows?

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Posted by sayadian on 19/2/2012 at 03:45

Madmac
the only way to avoid EVER getting stung is to stay out of the water which a bit negative.Phobias, by definition are irrational fears.If he sticks to my advice he'll find the things aren't so bad as he thinks.Rubbing or scratching spreads the toxins in the sting so best to grin and bear it. ;-)

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Posted by SBE on 19/2/2012 at 03:54

I'm far more worried about jellyfish than sharks and sea snakes too, especially when I'm swimming far from the shore on my own. Sharks and sea snakes aren't that interested in killing you but jellyfish tentacles are indiscriminate and some species deliver very bad (lethal) stings.I got stung by a Portuguese man of war once (in Scotland). The pain was intense and my legs were totally paralysed for week. I think swimming back would be rather problematic if you got badly stung while snorkeling a long way from the nearest beach or boat.

In Thai waters you're most likely to encounter jelly fish larva which cause unpleasant rashes and itching but not severe pain and unless you have an allergic reaction they aren't dangerous ... lime juice and anti histamines help to alleviate symptoms.

There are sometimes bigger jellyfish with more painful stings about too but like Lizzy says they seem to be seasonal. I know several people who have been stung quite badly while swimming in Thailand over the years but it isn't all that common. Local remedies include applying fresh aloe vera or honey and these treatments do seem to alleviate the pain if you can't get to a doctor.

Vinegar and lime juice are acidic and are supposed to neutralise the nematocysts that are embedded in your skin, maybe the high sugar concentration in honey has a similar effect. Applying heat will also "cook" the proteins in many marine animal poisons (eg stone fish, sting ray and lion fish stings). Immediately wash the sting with water as hot as you can bear.... you need to use very hot water. A hairdryer set to the hottest setting might work too.

Don't use cold fresh water on jellyfish stings, that will only make the sting worse. Better to wash off any tentacles with salt water if no hot water is available.

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Posted by MADMAC on 19/2/2012 at 04:36

Although he described it as a phobia, personally I don't think fear of jellyfish sting is irrational.

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Posted by sayadian on 19/2/2012 at 07:16

Madmac
yes jellyfish stings aren't irrational fears but phobias are.take it up with the Oxford English Dictioary.The thinking is too pedantic for me.

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Posted by MADMAC on 19/2/2012 at 09:35

Actually 'irrational fears" is only one definition... in this case, I would think he could avoid jellyfish stings by not going in the water when jellyfish are present. Or at least minimizing the possibility.

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Posted by busylizzy on 19/2/2012 at 12:39

Well, if Kris wasn't having nightmares about jellyfish before, he will be now!

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Posted by MADMAC on 19/2/2012 at 21:08

Jellyfish suck. One of the many reasons I hate the beach!

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Posted by sayadian on 19/2/2012 at 22:23

I was brought up by the beach.We have the second highest tide in the world.I have memories of visitors ignoring the 'danger' signs.Some swims as little as 100 metres are suicidal because of the fast currents.Jellyfish never really bothered me.It's more important to respect the sea and listen to local knowledge.I'm sure the people living there can tell you if there is any danger from jellyfish and the seasons they come.
Madmac
Don't you have a beach on the shores of the Mekhong?

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Posted by kriskeogh on 24/2/2012 at 14:30

I hate the little bleeders its the only thing that would keep me out of the sea

So if its a low low low risk i'm ok but if not then i'll be firmly on the beach!

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Posted by sayadian on 24/2/2012 at 20:32

This thread is getting very one-sided.
Isn't there a champion for the jellyfish out there?
Let's hear it for jellyfish ;-)

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Posted by MADMAC on 24/2/2012 at 22:02

Actually I grew up in Boston, and my parents had a beach house on Cape Cod. I never liked the area though. I just don't like the ocean much.

As for the Mekong, we have a beach here actually, and I have swum in it. But it's a muddy river and God knows your chances are getting some sort of infection are not remote.

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Posted by sayadian on 24/2/2012 at 23:19

Madmac.
your right about The Mekhong but when Ilived in Ubon we used to use the Maenam Moon, much cleaner.if the Thais hadn't screwed everything up with their visa laws I'd probably be there now.there are worse things than jellyfish, like heavy metals in the Mekhong.

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Posted by busylizzy on 25/2/2012 at 00:00

Alrighty.... apparently there are good jellyfish out there, too. The kind that don't stingers. In Asia, too - Palau, Micronesia. Somewhere where swimming with jellyfish is actually a tourist attraction.

I first heard about it in a podcast on Amateur Traveler when Gary Arndt was interviewed. It sounds kind of fascinating, even to a self-proclaimed jellyfish hater. I found this blog entry which had a a couple of pics and a description of the 'sensual' experience. If you google 'Palau jellyfish' you'll come up with lots more amazing photos.
Diving+in+Jellyfish+Lake+in+Palau.jpg

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Posted by MADMAC on 25/2/2012 at 01:44

Sayadian
The Thai visa laws are easy enough to work around. What did you have a problem with?

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Posted by sayadian on 25/2/2012 at 05:13

Madmac
I have an aversion,probably inherited from my father,of disliking people prying into my private affairs e.g. financial.
The way I see it if I can pay my way, pay my taxes and aren't a dangerous criminal or public nuisance that's all governments should require of me.
All I've got to do to live in Cambodia is pay for my business visa, no questions asked. Unfortunately the down-side is we have quite a few desperados living amongst us though they don't bother me and ocassionally liven up the place.
BTW Can you eat jellyfish?

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Posted by MADMAC on 25/2/2012 at 10:56

I don't share the aversion and since it's the only inconvienience I have here, I put up with it. Well, that and the driving.

As for Jellyfish, no idea if they are edible or not. I don't like fish at any rate...

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