To the Editor: In 1964 the Journal published an article by Barnes which solved the mystery of a distressing illness that was affecting many Queensland beachgoers — Irukandji syndrome.1 In a remarkable piece of detective work, Barnes had captured a small (25 mm bell) jellyfish and demonstrated, by allowing it to sting himself, his 9-year-old son and the on-duty lifeguard, that this jellyfish caused Irukandji syndrome. All required inpatient care. This jellyfish was named Carukia barnesi in his honour, and has been known as the “Irukandji jellyfish”. Many now believe that more than one jellyfish is responsible for Irukandji syndrome. Significantly, in the 40 years since Barnes’ discovery, no other jellyfish causing Irukandji syndrome has been identified.
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