The Beautifully Deadly Box Jellyfish

Nature consists of some of the most amazing aesthetics not just in the visual design, but in the functional design as well.  I wanted to look specifically at the strongest and weakest animal on earth, the box jellyfish.


jelly 3

The box jellyfish is a beautifully delicate and extremely lethal animal.  This carnivorous jellyfish located off the coast of Australia has an extremely fragile body and lives less than a year.  To overcome its anatomical flaws, this jellyfish developed the most deadly venom that stings any prey the instant it comes into contact with one of its 10ft long tentacles.  The venom contains toxins that attack the nervous and circulatory systems leaving its victims in extreme pain that can lead to drowning as the result of shock or dying of heart failure.

The beauty of this animal lies in many aspects of its overall design.  The first notable feature is that it has 24 microscopic eyes that can detect gravitational pull as well as specific points of light. Another impressive quality the box jellyfish has is that unlike most jellyfish, it doesn’t drift. The box jellyfish can move around freely at speeds up to two meters per second. Additionally, the box jellyfish has about 45 tentacles, each equipped with 500,000 harpoon-shaped tubes that release the lethal venom.  The box jellyfish uses this to kill its prey and as a defensive mechanism from predators.

The only flaw in this beautiful design is that some predators, like the sea turtle, are unaffected by the deadly stings, therefore leaving the delicate body completely defenseless.

The Ocean’s deadliest video below explains more about the overall design of the box jellyfish.

While this animal is extremely beautiful with its fragile design, there is also beauty in the tremendously lethal attributes it possesses.  The idea that something with such a short life span and delicate structure could be the most deadly animal on the planet is intriguingly terrifying and gorgeous.


Previous Post
Next Post
An Architect’s Aesthetic

2 Comments. Leave new

  • David Holliman
    January 31, 2016 11:00 pm

    I think it’s always intriguing when you encounter the duality of complexity and delicacy, beauty and danger. Also, did not know that box jellyfish could detect gravitational pull–very cool!

  • Sreyas Krishnan
    January 23, 2016 4:35 pm

    duuuude that’s so cool, jellyfish are crazy haha. I did not realize that there are any jelly fish that have eyes. It’s crazy that animals like the jellyfish and the anemone can exist in the ocean. Trippy project idea: robotic jellyfish.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.