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Jelly Fish the Swimmers Enemy

sting, water and irritation


There are several forms of this parasite of the seas ; some are very small, being about three inches in diameter, while the larger ones average anything between six to even twelve inches. The red species are the most deadly ; they seem to spray the surrounding water, when in danger, with a glutenous fluid, which makes quite a percept able white mark on the body. The irritation caused by this, on coming out of the water, is intense. The more you rub it the worse it gets, until the whole body is as if it had been rolled in a bed of nettles. The best way to alleviate the irritation is to apply neat brandy to the affected parts, taking a moderate dose internally at the same time. The spirits seem to kill the pain im mediately; it is also advisable to run in order to keep up the circulation. There is no real danger, but the irritation is so severe in some cases that the swimmer feels quite feverish for a day or so.

It is singular that fair people suffer more than dark people from this disagreeable form of sting. The sting of the sting fish is most painful and far more lasting than that of the jelly fish. The writer once had a painful experience of this class of sting. It was during a long sea swim, when, towards the end, my left foot just felt as if someone had run a gimblet into it. The pain was very acute, even in the water. On gaining the land, the foot seem ed fifty times its natural size, and was as heavy as lead. It took several days before the foot could be put down. Shrimpers have been known to be off from their calling for a couple of weeks from this form of sting. The fish itself is like a large mud cat, with one long projection near the head, which it stiffens when frightened or before it pre pares to strike. The best remedy is to take a strong aperient and bathe continually in hot water.