Addicted to novelty since 2001

Bees, Wasps and Bristle Worms: Gross Photos of Stings

Stung by a JellyfishThis morning I was stung by a Pelagia noctiluca, a small luminous jellyfish. I was snorkeling out beyond the bay where I usually go, and had spotted plenty of jellies in the water. I was being careful, but I guess the current carried this one into my outstretched arm.

It hurt like a big, bad bee sting (heh). I thrashed around a bit, swiping at my arm and generally looking like shark bait. A section of my arm went numb for a few moments. Then it just throbbed as I made the long swim back to shore.

Yes, I could have, uh, peed on it when I got back to shore, but I opted to just drive home and apply a more acidic fluid: vinegar. It had a nearly immediate effect. After a cold compress and about six hours, I can barely feel the sting.

Other Photos of Stings

I got to thinking about what else can sting me, both under the waves and on top of them. That led to a long, gross search for photos of stings in Flickr that looked way, way worse than my lame discolouration. I thought I’d assemble them here for your edification. They’re after the jump, because some are fairly disgusting, and I don’t want to be responsible for anybody losing their lunch on their keyboard. In most cases, you can click for even more close-up grossness.

Insect Woes

Bee sting – This was the most offensive example of a bee sting I could find:

Wasp sting – One of these fingers is not like the others.

Hornet sting – A bigger, badder wasp, as I understand it.

Underwater Owees

Jellyfish Stings – The Web is full of disgusting photos of jellyfish stings that look insanely painful. Here are a couple:

Sea urchin – Hard to tell where the urchin stings and the coral damage begins.

Stingray – Considering one of these killed Steve Irwin, this looks pretty innocuous.

Bristle worm – I’ve seen a couple of these while snorkeling. They look innocent enough, crawling along the reef. Photo borrowed from Salt-City.Org.

Anemone – Specifically from an aiptasia anemone. Photo borrowed from (visit them for larger version).

Plant Pain

Stinging nettle – That’s a nasty reaction.

Poison ivy – It’s interesting, I think, that the grossest injury comes from a common, unsuspecting plant. Ew.

What Have I Missed?

I wanted to find a photo of a stonefish sting, but came up empty. Maybe that’s because the results of a sting are so traumatic that nobody ever stops to take a photo. What other stinging things have I missed?

13 Responses to “Bees, Wasps and Bristle Worms: Gross Photos of Stings”

  1. Derek K. Miller

    One of the nice things about your old haunt here in B.C. is that we have very little in the way of stingy stuff. Yes, red jellyfish can be a bit nasty, but not too bad, and there are bees and wasps, and Devil’s club and poison ivy in the forest, but not much else. Overall a pretty safe place to go wandering in the wilds.

    Watch out for crazy Malta, though. :)

  2. Ashley

    Maybe some bites next (eg spider bites, snake bites etc – not thinking of dog bites)?

  3. Addison Moyer

    can you send me some of those picures please thanks

  4. Arin

    Might i use your blog as a resource for a (fiction) book i’m writing? I find the sting info really useful.

  5. Susan Schechter

    Check out the photodermatitis that is caused by Giant Hogweed, an exotic, invasive plant. There is a picture of an affected body part toward the center of the poster. I have seen worse.

  6. tii

    i was fishing yesterday and found this HUGE ASS bristle worm, it looked very colorful and pretty, too bad i killed it by mistake :(

  7. Andrea

    That picture of the bee sting looks exactly like the one I have on my thigh right now. It’s huge and painful. I can’t even walk. I’m pretty sure I’m not allergic to bees…. I just have really bad reactions. It’s killing right now…. Even though i’m laying down.

  8. Claire

    Man-o-war, there are some flies that sting and the marks they leave look totally gross! Yellow jackets are pretty bad. Ants both bite and sting like velvet ants and fire ants. And let’s not forget the best of the worst ……. Scorpions.

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