This innocent animal causes the most excruciating pain known to man. How can you avoid such a terrible fate?
The award for the most excruciating pain known to man goes to the sting of the most venomous fish in the sea, the Stonefish. While there are probably more painful venoms in the world, the prize goes to this fish because it has a deadly combination of lethality and excruciating pain. Not to mention, you might run into these fish on your typical vacation, as they live in the shallow water of tropical oceans, and when you get stung, it will be your fault.
This fish gets its name from the rock-like appearance of its body that allows it to camouflage itself onto the floor of its home in the Pacific and Indian oceans. These fish aren’t aggressive in the slightest, but have barbs on their back that divers and other beach goers often step on, mistaking it for a piece of rock or coral. If not treated within a few hours, the venom could lead to death, but not before undergoing a world of hurt. A man once nicked his finger on a Stonefish and described the experience in these words:
“I got spiked on the finger by a Stonefish in Australia … never mind a bee sting. … Imagine having each knuckle, then the wrist, elbow and shoulder being hit in turn with a sledgehammer over the course of about an hour. Then about an hour later imagine taking a real kicking to both kidneys for about 45 minutes so that you couldn’t stand or straighten up. I was late 20s, pretty fit physically and this was the tiniest of nicks. Got sensation back in my finger after a few days but had recurrent kidney pains periodically for several years afterwards.”
In several other cases, there are stories of victims seriously demanding their injured limb to be amputated because they are in that much physical pain. The side effects of a sting can be seriously swelling, tissue death, shock, paralysis, and even death, if not treated promptly by a doctor. Not to fear, death is actually very rare, since these fish are found close to shore and the person can often get medical help in time. There have only been three reported cases of death from a Stonefish sting, but these have only occurred because the victim either could or did not seek medical help within a few hours of getting stung or was punctured in the chest. So, as you can see, this isn’t a vicious animal, just a fish trying to protect itself from bottom-feeding sharks, but could cause you a world of hurt if you don’t watch your step or wear thick soled shoes while exploring the ocean on your next vacation in the Pacific.