They say of marine life that if you can’t eat it or it’s got no practical use then it will never get anything other than a scientific name. Well I have a third reason, being spiked by a sea urchin and needing something pronounceable to swear at!
The long-spine urchin, Centrostephanus tenuispinus, is actually quite beautiful for something you’d take great pains not to sit on, or experience great pains if you did!
Urchin spines really are no fun. A painful spiking can result from carelessly nestling into a bit of reef to coax out a crayfish or photograph a nudibranch. If it’s a clean stab a good flushing of vinegar will usually bring relief after the initial pain. If it’s snapped off inside it needs to come out quickly!
Best advice for divers or waders is, … don’t sit on salty blue pincushions!
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