According to National Geographic, box jellyfish, also called sea wasps, live off the coastal waters of Northern Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific. Box jellyfish also are frequently found off the coasts of Vietnam, Hawaii and the Philippines.
Although adult box jellyfish are typically found in coastal seas, their lives begin near river banks. Box jellyfish spawn at the mouth of rivers before they die. The fertilized eggs become polyps that stick to rocks in estuaries. In spring the polyps develop into jellyfish, which migrate down the river mainly to feed on shrimp. As an adult the box jellyfish frequents beaches, often the same beaches that humans like to visit. As a result, box jellyfish stings are common along beaches near the Australian and Indo-Pacific coasts.
According to the New World Encyclopedia, between 1954 and 1996 over 5,000 lives were lost due to the sting of the box jellyfish. They are considerably dangerous to divers and swimmers who are near or in the box jellyfish’s habitat. Its venom is considered one of the most dangerous in the world because its toxins attack the heart and nervous system. The sting is extremely painful. Swimmers have been known to go into shock from the pain of a box jellyfish’s sting and drown.