You’ve most likely heard the tip to to pee on a jellyfish sting to take away the pain. And also you’ve most likely wondered if it yes, really works. Or friend may have questioned why urine would certainly be an reliable treatment for a sting.

In this article, we’ll take it a closer look in ~ the truth and assist uncover the fact behind this common suggestion.


Quite simply, no. There is no reality to the myth that peeing top top a jellyfish sting deserve to make it feeling better. Many studies have discovered that this just doesn’t work.

One that the possible reasons the this myth came to be popular could be due to the truth that urine has compounds like ammonia and urea. If supplied alone, these substances may be advantageous for some stings. Yet your pee contains a many water. And all the water dilutes the ammonia and urea too lot to be effective.

What’s more, the salt in your urine, together with the velocity that the urine stream can move the stingers approximately in the injury. This could cause the stingers to release even an ext venom.

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Here’s what happens as soon as you acquire stung through a jellyfish:

Jellyfish have thousands of tiny cells on your tentacles (known together cnidocytes) that contain nematocysts. They’re prefer tiny capsules that contain a sharp, straight, and also narrow stinger that’s tightly coiled and also armed with venom.The cells on the tentacles deserve to be triggered by an outside force the makes call with them, such together your arm brushing against a tentacle, or your foot smashing a dead jellyfish on the beach.When activated, a cnidocyte mister open and fills through water. This included pressure pressures the stinger the end of the cell and into everything triggered it, prefer your foot or arm. The stinger release venom into your flesh, i beg your pardon can gain into tissues and blood vessels that it pierces.

This every happens incredibly conveniently — in as small as 1/10 the a second.

The venom is what reasons the sharp pain girlfriend experience once a jellyfish stings you.


Most jellyfish stings space harmless. Yet there space some varieties of jellyfish that contain poisonous gift that have the right to be dangerous if friend don’t get immediate medical attention.

Some common, and less serious, jellyfish sting symptoms include:

pain the feels prefer a burn or prickling sensation visible colored marks whereby the tentacles touched you that room usually a purple, brown, or red coloritchiness in ~ the sting siteswelling approximately the sting areathrobbing pain that spreads past the sting area right into your limbs

Some jellyfish sting symptoms space much much more severe. Look for emergency clinical attention if girlfriend experience any type of of the following symptoms:

stomach pain, vomiting and also nausea muscle spasms or muscle painweakness, drowsiness, confusionfaintingtrouble breathingheart issues, together as rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

Some jellyfish are reasonably harmless, yet others deserve to have deadly stings. Here’s a review of the species of jellyfish you may run into, whereby they are typically found, and how serious their stings are:

Moon jelly (Aurelia aurita): A common but harmless jellyfish who sting is commonly mildly irritating. Lock are uncovered in coastal waters around the world, greatly the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. They are generally found on the coasts of north America and Europe.Portuguese man-o-war (Physalia physalis): discovered mostly in warmer seas, this types floats on the surface of the water. When its sting is hardly ever deadly come people, the can reason intense pain and welts top top exposed skin. Sea wasp (Chironex fleckeri): Also recognized as box jellyfish, this varieties lives in the waters around Australia and also Southeast Asia. Your sting can reason intense pain. Return rare, the sting the this jellyfish can reason life threaten reactions. Lion’s mane jellyfish (cyanea capillata): Found mainly in the cooler northern regions the the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, these space the world’s largest jellyfish. Their sting deserve to be fatal if you’re allergy to it.
Don’t ever touch a jellyfish, even if it’s dead and also lying top top the beach. The tentacles can still create their nematocysts also after death. Talk to lifeguards or other safety personnel ~ above duty to check out if any type of jellyfish have been spotted or if stings have actually been reported. Learn how jellyfish move. They tend to go along with ocean currents, so learning where castle are and also where the currents room taking lock can aid you avoid a jellyfish encounter. Wear a wetsuit or various other protective garments when you’re swimming, surfing, or diving to defend your bare skin from brushing against jellyfish tentacles.

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Swim in shallow waters where jellyfish normally don’t go. When walking right into the water, shuffle her feet slowly follow me the bottom the the water. Mental the sand may assist you avoid capturing sea critters, consisting of a jellyfish, by surprise.

Don’t believe the myth the peeing top top a jellyfish sting can help. The can’t.

There room multiple other means to law a jellyfish sting, consisting of removing tentacles from your skin and also rinsing with sea water.

If you have a an ext severe reaction, like challenge breathing, a fast or rarely often rare heartbeat, muscle spasms, vomiting, or confusion, obtain medical attention right away.


last medically reviewed on October 10, 2019


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Medically the evaluation by Kevin Martinez, M.D. — written by Tim Jewell ~ above October 10, 2019

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