8 Ocean Animals you want to avoid at all costs

 

Sharks

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When you think of dangerous ocean animals one of the first that comes to mind is sharks, it’s no wonder with a yearly average of 2 to 3 attacks most of which aren’t fatal.  According to NOAA, in general sharks do not eat humans and only attack humans when they are curious or confused. According to experts, the best way to reduce your chances of a shark attack is to swim in groups, avoid swimming at night, don’t wear shiny jewelry, and to stay away from murky water.

Sea Urchins

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Sea Urchins otherwise known as Wana typically come in different shapes and sizes but should be avoided at all costs.  These animals are covered in spikes and some species even produce poison.  Sea Urchins are most commonly found tucked in between reefs.  People often mistakenly step on them or brush into them while swimming which can be difficult to remove as their spines can be very brittle.

Portuguese Man O War

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Portuguese Man O War are commonly found throughout Hawaii and are often mistaken for bubbles floating in the ocean.  Though they look like a jellyfish, they are actually a type of siphonophore which is a group of animals who work together as one.  It’s deep blue tentacles are known to produce a painful sting which is typically non-fatal to humans but can paralyze or even kill small fish. 

Stingrays

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Stingrays are typically considered to be docile animals but can be extremely dangerous when harassed.  You can spot these animals near rocks, coral reefs, or sandy areas.  Most stingray related injuries are due to people accidentally stepping on them or entering their territory.  Stingrays have a very sharp barb which they use to feed on fish, mollusks, worms, and crabs.

 

Eels

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Eels are amazing creatures with long snake like bodies and large pointy teeth. Eels mostly feed on fish, crabs, and mollusks and can be found in rocks, coral reefs, or crevices. Even though eels are typically not poisonous, it’s extremely important to clean out the wound thoroughly if you are bitten as their mucous can contain toxins which can easily cause it to become infected.

Box Jellyfish

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Around the world nearly 100 people each year die from box jellyfish stings.  Box jellyfish are often a fear of most beach goers as they are practically impossible to see and are found during unusually windy conditions.  Though their sting is extremely painful it’s able to be remedied by pouring first salt water and then vinegar on the infected area. While you can wear protective clothing like a wet suit to prevent being stung, the best way to avoid box jellyfish is to take caution to warning signs that are often posted on beaches.

Barracuda

Photo Credit: hawaiimarlinfishing.com

Barracudas are scavengers and opportunistic hunters with large teeth and a sleek build which are known to remain perfectly still and spy on you from a distance.  Just like sharks, some species of barracuda are known to be dangerous to swimmers and beach goers.  Though rare, barracudas can sometimes attack humans if they see something attractive (like something shiny) or if the water has poor visibility. 

Scorpion Fish/Lion Fish

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Scorpion Fish and Lion Fish are some of the coolest looking fish that Hawaii has to offer.  You can tell just by looking at their red, yellow, and orange colors that these fish aren’t ones to mess with!  These fish are often found in reefs and use their powerful venom in their spines to protect themselves against potential predators.  Even though they aren’t know to be aggressive towards humans, people often get hurt by these fish by accidentally stepping on them.