Should You Pee on a Jellyfish Sting?

*Correction: At 0:14: Jellyfish have been around for 600 million years, but we incorrectly read 6 million in the narration. We apologize for missing this. Thanks to Eric Dabbs and Mark Bare for bringing this to our attention.

Special thanks to San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay for letting us film their beautiful jellyfish. Find out more about them here: https://www.aquariumofthebay.org/

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Sure, jellyfish look pretty serene, but we all know the evils that come from a run-in with those tentacles. You’ve probably heard the rumor that peeing on a jellyfish sting can make the pain go away, but does this icky old wives tale stand up to science?

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Nematocysts firing footage is courtesy of Ron Koss at the University of Alberta. http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/zool250/Labs/Lab03/Lab03.htm

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Judith Lavelle

Executive Producer:
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Scientific consultants:
Susan Richardson, Ph.D.
Mike McGill
Darcy Gentleman, Ph.D.
Kyle Nackers

“Jellyfish and Comb Jellies” Smithsonian Institute (2014) http://ocean.si.edu/jellyfish-and-comb-jellies

“Take a look at a jellyfish sting in slow motion” PBS (2014) http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/take-look-jellyfish-sting-slow-motion/

“What’s Behind That Jellyfish Sting?” Smithsonian Magazine (2013) http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/whats-behind-that-jellyfish-sting-2844876/

“Should We Stop Using Vinegar To Treat Box Jelly Stings? Not Yet—Venom Experts Weigh In On Recent Study” Discover (2014) http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/science-sushi/2014/04/09/stop-using-vinegar-treat-box-jelly-stings-yet-venom-experts-weigh-recent-study/#.WPF_jWTysfE

“Old Wives’ Tale? Urine as Jellyfish Sting Remedy” ABC News (2006) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2283933&page=1

“What You Need to Know About the Coming Jellyfish Apocalypse” Mother Jones (2014) http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/06/watch-out-summer-swimmers-here-come-jellyfish


Jellyfish Stings and Their Management: A Review


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