APR 29, 2017 11:23 AM PDT

What NOT to Do to a Jellyfish Sting

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

The ocean is as mysterious as it is dangerous. A sting from the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri can kill a person in just three minutes. The semi-transparent, amorphous tentacled nature of these creatures make it difficult to spot and avoid them in the water.

Luckily deadly box jellyfish are mostly found in the Indo-Pacific region and northern Australia. But the other 2,000+ types of jellyfish can be found in just about any ocean water. While most stings aren't deadly, they can be quite painful, so it's best to avoid it if you can.

But if you are stung while swimming, here's one important tip to remember: Don't pee on the wound! Contrary to what you saw on Friends, urinating on a jellyfish sting isn't an effective treatment. In fact, the urine can aggravate the singers to release more venom, making it even more excruciating. Rather, the best way to alleviate the stinging pain is to wash, remove the tentacles, and douse the wound with vinegar or other acidic compounds.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
This Mantis Uses Kung Fu Stances to Intimidate Predators
Virtually all mantids are known to science as carnivores, but perhaps unsurprisingly, some other creepy crawlies, such as jumping spiders, will also try to...
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
All Squirrels Enjoy Nuts, and Some Shamelessly Steal Them
It’s no secret that squirrels enjoy eating nuts, but a lesser known fact is that many of these cunning rodents also enjoy the thrill and easy reward...
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
Watch a Pod of Dolphins Play Catch With a Pufferfish
Playing catch with a ball of some sort is a popular past time for humans, but as it would seem, even dolphins might enjoy partaking in similar behaviors. I...
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
What Makes Lions Such Incredible Predators?
Lions sport a reputation as one of nature’s fiercest beasts, but have you ever wondered what makes them such renowned predators? These large cats are...
NOV 11, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 11, 2019
11,000 Scientists Agree-The Climate Crisis is Here
A worldwide coalition of more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries warns "clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergen...
NOV 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2019
SpaceX Puts Another 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that stood tall and proud at the launch pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ignited its engines and lofted a g...
Loading Comments...