Should I pee on this?

This weekend I saw about 100 thousand million jelly fish.  Big and little, in exhibits and in the ocean, it was surely the weekend of the Jelly.  Which is awesome, but for some people, terrifying.

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In California, we mostly dive with full neoprene….(drysuits for some), including hood, gloves, booties, etc.  Really, the only exposed skin is just around your lips, right around the reg, so when little jellies fly onto your face like bugs on your windshield on the highway, there isn’t too much skin they can sting.

Not that it  doesn’t hurt like a sonuvabitch.

But people always say to me, “Jellies! Ahhh! If they sting you, you pee on that right?”.  Then they laugh nervously.  And I think to myself,

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thank goodness you asked me before you tried to pee on my face.

Because when it comes down to it.  Jelly fish stings don’t need pee.  They need white vinegar.

Jelly Fish tentacles are covered in “nematocysts”, which release venom if pressure is applied, or certain substances (like urine, or fresh water).  If you are stung by a jellyfish, pour white vinegar on the sting and then use a credit card, or a stiff edge to wipe off the remaining tentacles.

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White vinegar neutralizes unactivated nematocysts.  If there is no white vinegar around, heated sea water, or even just sea water, will do the trick.  Avoid fresh water.

Then take an antihistamine and a pain reliever.

here’s to not trying to fix your problems by pissing all over em,


Screen shot 2013-04-10 at 6.01.43 PM

Side note, not all jelly stings are helped by white vinegar.  Think namely of Portuguese man o’ war (which is not a true jellyfish, but a colony of stinging terror), or a box jellyfish.  The first aid is similar, so if you don’t know what stung you, stick with the basic:

Clean the sting with SALT WATER.  then remove any remaining tentacles.  Monitor for allergic reaction.  Call 911.

man o' war
man o’ war

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