Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Lifeguards are advising Playa del Carmen — Riviera Maya visitors to be aware that these next two months are jellyfish season.
During the months of July and August, jellyfish or jellies as scientists prefer since these marine animals are not actually fish, make their way to the tropical waters of the region and can be alluring to touch by those who are unfamiliar with them. The small aguamalas are attractive in appearance and can be tempting to catch in the water.
Antonio Morales Ocaña, Solidaridad meterologist, explained that the jellyfish arrive sporadically on tropical waves, which he says is normal. He notes that due to their appearance, they are attractive to tourists who tend to approach them in the water.
“Our lifeguards are instructed that if they see jellyfish in the water to alert swimmers and sun bathers to stay away from them. The filaments are what cause problems as they stick to the skin and cause a very strong rash and burning.”
He added that “the lifeguards already know the treatment in case a tourist is affected by a sting. They treat it promptly.”
Experts say that if you’ve been stung by a jellyfish, don’t try to scrape away the tentacles since jellyfish nematocysts are triggered in part by pressure. Pressing on them just prompts them to release more venom.
They also say that alcohol of any kind will make the nematocysts fire more, according to research, so don’t go pouring your beach beer on a throbbing jellyfish sting.
Instead, douse your skin and the tentacles on it, in vinegar. Find the most highly-concentrated stuff that you can and pour it on. Vinegar inactivates the jelly’s nematocysts so they can’t fire, which means when you go to remove the tentacles, you won’t end up with more venom than before.