Yes, these stings were as painful as they look.
Bluebottles are commonly found on Sydney beaches, and indeed, around all of Australia.
The official name for these marine maniacs is physalia. But I much prefer the name I learned as a child Portuguese man o’ war.
These jellyfish aren’t found in Scotland but we grew up with dreadful images of them, and the sure knowledge that, if you were ever stung, you were a goner.
Not true at all!
Luckily for me, most bluebottle stings are not too serious, though they can be very painful. (But there are rare exceptions – see below.)
These nasty stings that I got last summer were ENTIRELY my own fault. I saw lots of bluebottles washed up on the beach, so I knew that If I swam I’d be asking for a sting. But I just couldn’t resist the lure of an ocean swim.
These stings really were sore at the time, but I just showered and then they weren’t too bed and didn’t itch TOO much. Most bluebottle stings will be in long welts like mine, caused by the trailing long tentacles.
Treating Bluebottle Stings
Modern treatments for bluebottle stings around our Sydney beaches do not involve papaya, vinegar or urine.
Rinse the stung area with seawater, it’s fine to pick tentacles off with the fingers.
Rinse with warm to comfortably hot water, or soak if that’s possible.
If the person stung is a child, or has asthma or allergies it may be adviasable to visit a doctor as rare cases of severe breathing difficulties have occurred.
If any swelling occurs around stings to the face or throat, call an ambulance immediately.
Have you survived a sting from one of these savage jellyfish?
Can you share a top tip?
What’s next, I wonder…. err…..