Actress Anne Curtis Stung By Box Jellyfish

box jellyfish
The lethal sting of the box jellyfish could one day be treated with a zinc compound, new research suggests (Image credit: Robert Hartwick)

Actress Anne Curtis was stung by a deadly box jellyfish while shooting a TV show in the Philippines Wednesday night (April 2).

Curtis was being treated at St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, where doctors were keeping an eye on her rash and heartbeat, the actress tweeted, according to

"Been reading up on the box jellyfish and I'm lucky it wasn't fatal. This summer, be careful when swimming in the ocean [and] keep [an] eye out," Curtis tweeted.

The box jellyfish is one of the world's most poisonous animals. Even a smattering of venom can make the heart stop. Dozens to hundreds of people die from box jellyfish every year, anecdotal evidence suggests, though no official tallies exist. [Image Gallery: Jellyfish Rule!]

About 20 to 40 people die from box jellyfish stings in the Philippines alone, according to the U.S. National Science Foundation. The number of global fatalities from this cnidarian menace may be "seriously underestimated," the NSF adds.

About 50 species of box jellyfish are known to exist. The jellies have tentacles covered in tiny poison darts called cnidocysts. When the darts puncture the skin, they inject a toxin into the victim that enters the blood, where it can cause blood pressure to spike and stop the heart, researchers say.

Bigger box jellyfish are usually the most dangerous, because they sport more of these poison barbs. But even small box jellies have some poison.

Box jellyfish are also remarkable swimmers, largely thanks to 24 eyes that help them detect obstacles in their path.

So even though you may not see them coming, they'll probably see you.

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Tanya Lewis
Staff Writer
Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website.