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The Dream Job That Could Kill You

He had “The Best Job in the World” — and it nearly killed him.

Irukandki Jellyfish
Gondwananet |

Ben Southall, who was the envy of cubicle dwellers the world over when he won a six-month gig as an island caretaker in Queensland, Australia, was stung by a tiny jellyfish during his last week on the job.

"I thought I'd done particularly well at avoiding any contact with any of the dangerous critters that consider this part of the world their home," Southall wrote in his blog, .

“I've avoided being boxed by a kangaroo, nibbled by a shark and bitten by a spider or a snake — but then in my final few days on Hamilton Island I fell foul of a miniscule little creature known as an Irukandji," he explained.

Knowing that such predators aren't good for tourism, Queensland puts up nets in popular swimming areas to keep out the unwanted wildlife, but the Irukandji — the size of an adult’s pinky fingernail — can easily slip through.

And, Southall admits, he wasn’t wearning a full-on stinger suit, which would’ve protected him from this sting on the forearm.


He said it felt like a tiny bee sting. He didn’t think much of it, but knew something was wrong when he started to get a tingly sensation in his hands and feet, which turned into pain in the lower back and tightness in his chest.

Luckily, he was smart enough to get to a doctor who immediately recognized the symptoms and started treatment. In 2002, two tourists weren’t so lucky: They died after being stung.

Like that time the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii, it just goes to show you — paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Suddenly, your cubicle doesn't look so bad, does it?!

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