Last updated at 12:34 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Deadly jellyfish stings on paradise island


30 December 2009

The British man chosen from more than 30,000 applicants to look after an island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef has survived being stung by a deadly jellyfish on Hamilton Island.

Phil Mercer

Irukandji jellyfish


Click to hear the report


Ben Southall, the man with the best job in the world, struck trouble in paradise when he felt a small bee-like sting on his arm, as he was getting off a jet ski. The 34 year-old Briton later noticed a tingling sensation in his hands and feet, before developing a severe headache, back pain and high blood pressure. The culprit was a tiny but extremely poisonous Irukandji jellyfish. It may only be the size of a peanut, but it has killed unwary swimmers in the past.

Ben is recovering and is in the final week of his contract, where he's been employed by Australian tourism officials to promote the wonders of the Queensland coast.

Phil Mercer, BBC News, Sydney


Click to listen to the vocabulary


struck trouble in paradise

had difficulties in what seems like an ideal location


an animal (here a jellyfish) produces a small but painful injury, usually with a poison, by brushing against the someone or another animal's skin

a tingling sensation

a feeling as if a lot of sharp points are being put quickly and lightly into your body or onto your skin


very serious, causing a lot of pain

high blood pressure

the pressure at which the blood flows through the body is high (high or low blood pressure can make you ill)


very harmful and able to make you very ill or kill you


sea animal with a soft oval almost transparent (see-through) body

the size of a peanut

very small (a peanut is a small oval-shaped nut that grows under the ground inside a thin brown shell)


not aware of or careful about possible risks and dangers


formal agreement to work for a company or person for a period of time

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