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Attention! Those who meet such a lilac-blue balloon in the sea: this is a jellyfish, more precisely a Portuguese galley (Physalia physalis and Physalia utriculus), which belongs to the genus of "sea bubbles" - and contains a poison in its long tentacles. With this poison, the marine animals can kill and capture smaller fish, but also become dangerous to humans. The nettle cells on the capture threads cause great pain when touched, and there are wheals on the skin. In the worst case, it can lead to an allergic shock, difficulty breathing, respiratory or cardiac arrest.

What can one do if one has been caught by a specimen of the genus Physalia that are found in the Pacific and the Atlantic? Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have investigated this in more detail in order to optimize first aid measures. The results were published by the research team led by Christie Wilcox in the journal Toxins . The scientists recommend that in case of stinging of the Portuguese galley - as well as with other jellyfish - the burned areas should first be rinsed off with vinegar to remove tentacle remains that can still give off poison from the skin. Thereafter, it is recommended to put a hot wrap on the wound for 45 minutes or to immerse the body in 45 degrees Celsius warm water.

Photo: Nature Picture Library / Getty Images

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