'Kissed' by a Fireworm in Sosua

canuckgirl

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Nov 1, 2007
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My son and his friend were playing in the waves of Sosua Beach the other day, when they came across a cuter little fuzzy worm washed up on the beach. The curiosity got the best of them and they picked it up. The friend had decided to scare my son by putting the worm on his bare shoulder. In the next instant they were both feeling excruciating pain where the worm made contact with their skin. My son developed large raised hives on his shoulder and felt sharp burning pain and numbness in the entire arm for the next 24 hours. The local doctor treated it as acute contact dermatitis and prescribed topical Benadryl. Luckily the symptoms subsided after two days but I would like to warn other beach combers of this little creature ? its bristles are full of toxin and it?s named not for its bright colours but the stinging fire you will feel if you touch one.


For more information, please click here: Bearded Fireworm, Hermodice carunculata at MarineBio.org
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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Well, those kids are braver than I am.
I refuse to touch those underwater critters, specially the bright coloured ones.
If they're anything like frogs and snakes, often the bright colours are a warning of how toxic they are.
 

2LeftFeet

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Dec 1, 2006
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It's really beautiful... but you know what they say....
the more beautiful it is..... the more deadly they are.... :)
 

Kateinyork

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Red means danger - and the same goes in nature lol! I would never touch anything that colour - some pretend to be dangerous like the ladybird to scare off predators but some of them really are, like this one ;)

I have to say - it does look beautiful though. Great picture - did you take it?
 

canuckgirl

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Nov 1, 2007
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No, I found the photo on the internet. The fireworm that the boys found on the beach was curled up, all wet and covered in sand, so it was very difficult to see its true colors. It looked like a caterillar at first and my boys have handled many caterpillars in the past, so they did not think it would be so venomous.