The jellyfish are coming!
According to the Marine Conservation Society, increasing numbers of jellyfish – presumably encouraged by the hot weather – are currently bobbing along Britain’s coastline.
This probably means many bathers will be having a painful aquatic encounter in the next couple of weeks – and some unlucky punters will probably get treated in a novel way.
‘Help’ on tap
That’s because lots of people still believe it’s a good idea to wee on someone who’s been stung by a jellyfish.
Bizarre as it sounds, this is true. As temperatures soar this weekend, hundreds of British beachgoers will have their hands poised on their zippers, gunslinger-style, ready to pull down at a moment’s notice and ‘help’ anyone running from the water in pain.
The hoary old myth that urinating on jellyfish stings lessens the pain is still surprisingly popular in the UK, despite medically making no sense at all. (Really, think about it. It’s like saying you should vomit on someone with German measles.)
Not only is the approach useless, it’s actually harmful. Urine contains properties that can react very painfully with the stinging cells (called nematocysts, fact fans) which inject venom into your skin. So by peeing on someone, you’re literally making their problem worse. While peeing on them.
What you should do
If you’ve been stung, get out of the water to avoid getting stung again. Once out, slowly pouring seawater over the sting will help ease the pain.
Doing the same thing with vinegar can be even more effective as the acid helps neutralise the jellyfish sting. But, unless you’re near a chip shop, seawater will probably be easier to find.