Rachael Shardlow: Box Jellyfish Survivor (Video)

April 27, 2010

Rachael Shardlow’s box jellyfish sting should have killed her, but miraculously she is alive. Get the details here, including a video!


10-year-old Rachael Shardlow was stung by the world’s most venomous creature back in December, and surprisingly survived.

She and her brother were swimming in the Calliope River, when the box jellyfish wrapped its tentacles around her leg and shot its poisonous venom into her.

Rachael was pulled from the Calliope River, near the town of Gladstone, by her 13-year-old brother with the jellyfish’s tentacles wrapped around her legs. Box jellyfish have up to 15 tentacles on each corner of its body and have up to 5,000 stinging cells. Attempts at removing the tentacles may only release more venom. These jellyfish are responsible for up to 100 deaths a year. It cal kill an adult within 5 minutes.

Zoology professor Jamie Seymour, told ABC News in Australia,

“When I first saw the pictures of the injuries I just went, ‘You know, to be honest, this kid should not be alive.’ I mean, they are horrific. Usually when you see people who have been stung by box jellyfish with that number of the tentacle contacts on their body, it’s usually in a morgue.”

You can see the picture of Rachael’s leg after the sting here, it is astonishing.

Her older brother pulled Shardlow out of the water, and the box jellyfish still had its tentacles wrapped around her. She went unconscious, but not before telling him she could not see or breathe.

Rachael (often misspelled Rachel Shardlow) is now doing well. Aside from some scarring to her legs, and short term memory loss, she is expected to do well.

What an amazing story! We certainly send her well wishes and hope she makes a full recovery!

Readers, check out a video below and tell me your thoughts on Rachael Shardlow’s box jellyfish sting story.

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One Response to “Rachael Shardlow: Box Jellyfish Survivor (Video)”

  1. 1
    BL Says:

    I have spent my last 40 years in, on or around the beach and been stung by just about every kind of marine animal except the Irukandji and the Box…not sure how I’ve avoided those animals..while we were in Waikiki, a good friend got hit by a box on the thigh..The Indo Pacific Box is a nasty bugger for sure…he had a product called StingMate recommended by an emergency care doctor and it worked very well..it was very painful apparently but the stuff worked in minutes…bought a spray bottle for my surf bag…best to avoid em but can’t always…at least be prepared…keep the sunny side up..