Stinging Nettle

Today I collected an intact but dead sea nettle jelly, Chrysaora fuscescens, about one mile north of Haystack.

The nematocysts of sea nettles can still fire venomous harpoon-like needles after the creatures are dead; I used my jacket to shield my hands.

I tried returning the beached jelly to the ocean but it failed to revive, so I transported it to Haystack to show visitors. Then I put it back at the ocean's edge, where the churning surf tore the gelatinous corpse into fragments.

Not only do the animal's scary-looking tentacles bear stinging cells, nematocysts also cover the creature's "oral arms," the long, frilly appendages that dangle like delicate lace beneath the amber bell.

The sting of the sea nettle is reportedly like a bee sting or burning rash. Contrary to popular belief, peeing on a jelly sting is not effective.

I am on the lookout for an intact lion's mane jelly. Please call me if one is spotted. And be careful not to touch it--the poison of a lion's mane packs a powerful punch!

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