Sharks Are Outdated, Cnidaria Is Going to Be Your New Nightmare

People who swam in Antalya, Turkey, thought they got an electric shock only to find out it was actually caused by Cnidaria.
Nursah Ergü

Think about this: you're swimming in the sea, and you get an electric shock. This is exactly what happened to some people in Antalya, Turkey. Except, it wasn't an electric shock.

In the Konyaaltı district of Antalya, people who swam in the sea reported an electric current in the sea, saying they got an electric shock. One woman who claimed to have gotten an electric shock suffered from swelling in her arms and legs. Her photos of the swelling, which she sent to Professor Doctor Mehmet Gökoğlu, a faculty member in Akdeniz Univesity. That prompted Gökoğlu and a team of researchers to do digging to find out what was going on. 


Gökoğlu and a group of people from his university dived into the sea to find the reason for the electric shock. They discovered they were caused by a phylum called Cnidaria. 

Sharks Are Outdated, Cnidaria Is Going to Be Your New Nightmare
Source: atese/iStock

Cnidarians cannot be seen in the sea since they're mostly transparent. Also, they mostly appear during the spring or autumn. 

Gökoğlu suggested people swim with a t-shirt since it would protect them from the electric shock-like effect of the touches of cnidarians. Also, according to the professor, putting ammonia and alcohol on the scars caused by a cnidarian may help. 

Assistant Professor Şafak Ulusoy from Istanbul University said to Interesting Engineering that there are many different kinds of Cnidaria, and they make a person feel like they get an electric shock with their touch. They also have side effects such as swelling and rash. She also said that it's normal for Cnidaria to exist in Antalya since it has warm weather and warm water. 

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Cnidaria have shocked before 

This isn't the first Cnidaria case to occur in the Mediterranean part of Turkey. A couple of years ago, during a family trip, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl was walking in the very shallow water, and when she lost her balance and sat down, she started to cry. She got a hyperemic area, swelling, and fever. Later, it was understood that it was caused by a cnidarian. 

Seems like sharks, Bermuda triangle, Flying Dutchman or icebergs aren't the only things we should be scared of in the sea. Even the smallest creations can cause a lot of fuss.

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