Coral or what? On one of our walks up the beach last weekend, Joe saw what looks to be a coral formation on the rocks on the beach. So of course, I needed to take some pictures.
I actually could not get very close and I guess I was a little afraid to have some sea creature pop out and take a bite of me so I took these from afar…but it really looks to be some sort of coral formation to me, odd because these are the rocks on the beach that are more often not covered with water. If anyone knows for sure what this is let me know, if I was not such a chicken I would get a little closer and would check it out myself.
While on the beach in Playas several months back, I was stung by a little blue jelly fish. The pain was incredible and it lasted for over a week with a long welt on the inner thigh of one leg and some small spots on the other. Since then we have found out that jelly fish are more prevalent in the water close to shore about 8-10 days after a full moon. If stung do not rub or wash the area with salt water but pour vinegar on the sting, the stronger the vinegar the better. I have now subscribed to a web site that sends me a reminded for the full moon http://www.fullmoon.info/en/fullmoon-memo.html and we are more careful being in the water during those times. A week ago while walking the beach I spotted those same little blue devils and gave them a very wide berth. Never want to get stung by these little fellows again.
I know what you’re saying, “they don’t look like much” but let me tell you the pain from this little thing will be remembered for a very long time. Be alert for a bloom of jellyfish day 8 to day 10 after a full moon. Don’t say I did not warn you! And do what we do – bring a little bottle of vinegar to the beach with you. I understand that in Australia where these critters pose a constant problem, there are actual vinegar stands all along the beach selling the cure!
Treatment of stings
Once a tentacle of the box jellyfish adheres to skin, it pumps nematocysts with venom into the skin, causing the sting and agonizing pain. Successful use of Chironex antivenom by members of the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade showed that acetic acid, found in vinegar, disables the box jelly’s nematocysts that have not yet discharged into the bloodstream (though it will not alleviate the pain). Common practice is to apply generous amounts of vinegar prior to and after the stinging tentacle is removed. Removal of additional tentacles is usually done with a towel or gloved hand, to prevent secondary stinging. Tentacles will still sting if separated from the bell, or after the creature is dead. Removal of tentacles without prior application of vinegar may cause unfired nematocysts to come into contact with the skin and fire, resulting in a greater degree of envenomation.
Although commonly recommended in folklore and even some papers on sting treatment, there is no scientific evidence that urine, ammonia, meat tenderizer, sodium bicarbonate, boric acid, lemon juice, fresh water, steroid cream, alcohol, cold packs, papaya, or hydrogen peroxide will disable further stinging, and these substances may even hasten the release of venom. Pressure immobilization bandages, methylated spirits, or vodka should never be used for jelly stings. In severe Chironex fleckeristings cardiac arrest can occur quickly, so cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be life-saving and takes priority over all other treatment options.