Tour of Duty of Carelessness - Filipino Guide Stung

Gerry the Guide is stung by a small box jellyfish in the Philippines

A VLOG by Matt thatnikonguy published on Youtube in August 2012 of island hopping during his Philippines trip shows a group walking through shallows where the tour guide Gerry is stung by a box jellyfish.

It all seems rather commonplace and innocuous as Matt jokes with the 'legend' that is Gerry. When Matt suggests that it can be bad if a box jellyfish stings a person's neck Gerry replies that if the leg or feet are stung a person could be 'dead fast'.
So, there is a sting. There is a box jellyfish lifted from the water. There is a warning that they can kill. Yet, Matt and the group continue to wade through the water, in shorts with exposed legs, led blindly by so-called guides who know the facts and have apparently received numerous stings and presumably know of fatalities.

Hmmmmmm? Is something missing here? Common sense? A basic survival instinct? A brain? Yes, perhaps that is it. 

Like these humans, box jellyfish also don't have a brain but they have developed a visual system that has evolved over millions of years crucial to their survival. When they are confronted by an obstacle they utilize these senses and navigate around it, simple. Simple at least for prehistoric goo.

Not sure where this is exactly - Palawan? Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan?

Nevertheless, it does not matter where you may find yourself because if you are in water where there are box jellyfish there is every chance that you will be stung and it could be fatal. This box jellyfish was quite small and the sting minor. They do gather in numbers and there is no way one can become immune to the venom. One just needs a serious sting. Lucky Gerry the, um, legend lives again.

Gerry as a responsible tour guide should be warning visitors of the danger and the risk before the tour and suggesting they wear appropriate protective clothing. Well, at least there was some vinegar on the boat. Not much though it seemed. There should be enough to pour liberally on a sting for at least 30 seconds.
Next time you take a tour readers - whether it be in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, New Guinea - ask the questions .. be proactive as it's unlikely your tour guide will.

Watch The Video:

The relevant bits showing the box jellyfish are 5:30 - 8:40 and 11:23 - 13:10.

Matt thatnikonguy
And now for few short videos:

And an update:


  1. Thanks for the information. I find it extremely annoying that there is little caution taken in these waters, especially by guides who are supposed to be potentially responsible for people's lives! Kudos to Gerry for being so tough, but you can't take box jellies lightly! It should also be mandatory to require guides to disclose sting incidents and local governments put up signage around beaches to warn swimmers. Unfortunately, these people will almost always value profit over safety.


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