Kayakers made a terrifying discovery while paddling down the river near Townsville in North Queensland.
While kayaking out to check on some crab pots, two friends saw something strange in the water. One of them used an oar to scoop the strange object up and was terrified to see a stonefish sitting atop the oar – the world’s deadliest fish.
Jennifer Taylor shared the photo to the Facebook group, Australia Native Animals, saying, “Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it but my partner and friend saw their first wild stone fish today! Near Townsville in saltwater.”
She further explained to Newsweek, “My partner and our friend were in the kayaks going to check our crab pots and they saw it swimming and one of them managed to scoop it up.”
Naturally, people had quite the reaction to the shocking photo and it received hundreds of comments and shares.
One person commented, “Had a friend step on one these ugly things about 20 years ago – they were in hospital for 3 months, nearly died twice.”
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Another said, “the dorsal and pectoral fins have some 13 venomous spines. People have died from the venom as well as cardiac arrest from the pain.”
“You are risking your life by walking barefoot in areas where stonefish are found,” someone else wrote.
According to Oceana, the stonefish is the world’s most venomous fish. Its venom is capable of killing an adult person in less than an hour. Some who’ve experienced the venom and survived have reported feeling excruciating pain, like nothing else.
Oceana reports that stonefish primarily reside on the seafloor near coral and rocky reefs. Their appearance is such that they perfectly camouflage into their environment, making them challenging to spot and, likewise, avoid.
According to the Queensland Museum, “The venomous dorsal fin spines can cause extremely painful wounds and other serious medical issues. The pain is immediate, excruciating and may last for many days. Muscular paralysis, breathing difficulties, shock, and sometimes heart failure and death can ensue.”
If stung, it’s recommended to apply hot water to the area and urgently seek medical attention or call an emergency line. The warmth from the hot water can help draw the venom out and result in less severe outcomes, but it’s critical to get help immediately.Whizzco