APR 29, 2017 11:23 AM PDT

What NOT to Do to a Jellyfish Sting

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
4 7 473

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
JUL 17, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 17, 2018
The Chemistry in Airbags
The name "airbag" can be deceiving because the bag is not exactly filled with air. Instead, this life-saving device is filled with nitrogen gas,
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
How far can a single breath can go?
Longest distance swam underwater in one breath by a female using fins. Can you imagine being the Guinness World record-holder of that title? Marina Kazanko
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
No language needed
If you don’t have language, how do you think? If you know fewer words, can you think fewer thoughts? Or perhaps less complex thoughts? That’s t
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
How Dangerous is a Lightning Strike to an Airplane?
Lightning frequently strikes airplanes as they fly through the clouds thousands of feet above the Earth’s surface, but is there any reason for airpla
AUG 02, 2018
Videos
AUG 02, 2018
Which is More Damaging to Your Health, Alcohol or Weed?
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal government, making it a challenger for scientists to conduct further studies and gather stat
AUG 04, 2018
Videos
AUG 04, 2018
The Role of a Genetic Counselor
Learn more about what can be a rewarding job.
Loading Comments...