The danger lies on a vacation in the Mediterranean: deadly animals in the water

The compass jellyfish, shown here, is small in size in contrast to the giant jellyfish recently discovered in Tasmania which has a screen diameter of one meter in diameter.

© dpa

  • toLisa Klein


Anyone looking to cool off in the Mediterranean should know their way around. Because there are some dangers lurking under the water. What vacationers should know.

Deadly dangers lie not only on land in the Mediterranean – like the Mediterranean yellow scorpion or the Spanish web spider – but also underwater. Sharks are probably the first thing most people think of. Yes, there are also sharks in the Mediterranean, but shark attacks are fairly rare in Europe. The greatest dangers come from small animals, which are easy to overlook or underestimate.

Among the 20 most dangerous marine animals in the world Are also some that live in the Mediterranean, such as luminous jellyfish and sea snakes. Not all animals can kill humans, but the confrontation can end very painfully. * It reveals the fauna of the Mediterranean that should be better monitored.

Deadly Danger Underwater: Poisonous and Dangerous Animals in the Mediterranean

As already mentioned: a meeting with a shark is rather rare in the Mediterranean. However, there are many species of sharks that live in the Mediterranean. In fact, the most dangerous and largest sharks also occur in the Mediterranean, such as WWF Germany I mentioned: jaws. This is considered at risk due to its rarity. There are approximately three to seven large white shark attacks worldwide each year, about 20 percent of which are fatal. Most attacks occur off the coasts of California, South Africa, South Australia, and Japan – but not in the Mediterranean.

Most other sharks in the Mediterranean are fairly harmless and feed on plankton or fish. And the most dangerous to humans is that we will survive. The small, inconspicuous fish is one of the most poisonous fish in Europe, and it has also made it among the 11 most poisonous animals in Germany. The animal buries itself in the sand and is thus invisible to bathers – but everyone who steps on the ground feels its poisonous sting. This means severe pain and long-term swelling – people with allergies can go into cardiac arrest.

Poisonous animals of the Mediterranean: These jellyfish are especially dangerous

Although it is not fatal, encountering a luminous jellyfish can be really painful. It lives mainly around the Balearic Islands, and when touched, the animal turns delicate pink – and causes severe burns in humans, which can only heal slowly and leave scars. This is especially tragic for allergy sufferers. Jellyfish stings can still cause blisters on the skin weeks later. The same goes for the compass jellyfish, which can be recognized by its brown stripes.

Portuguese cuisine is also of hollow birds. It is also called “Floating Terror” – the name says it all. This dangerous animal is not native to the Mediterranean, but currents can also carry it to the waters of the Balearic Islands. On the tentacles of Portuguese cuisine there are up to 1,000 stinging cells per centimeter, which contain a toxic mixture of various proteins.

The poisonous Portuguese cuisine was seen near Palma, the capital of Mallorca. (Icon picture)

© picture-alliance / dpa / epa Nick Bothma

The poison acts directly on nerve cells on contact with the skin and can kill small fish and other prey – nettle causes severe pain to humans. Contact with the probes leaves red cracks on the skin. The poison can also reach the lymph nodes, where it causes even greater pain. A healthy adult survives “burns” caused by jellyfish without endangering their lives. In weak or allergic people, there is a risk of anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal in the worst case.

Poisonous and Dangerous Animals in the Mediterranean: Deadly Danger underwater

There are also poisonous snakes under water and not only on land, the bite of which can be unpleasant for people. 56 species of sea snakes are known worldwide, some of them also live in the Mediterranean. After a poison bite in a human, the first symptoms such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness and convulsions appear within a few hours. In the worst cases, it can lead to death from respiratory paralysis.

Encountering a stingray in the Mediterranean can be very painful. The flat cartilaginous fish has a long tail with a poisonous sting and reaches a length of three meters. The stingray defends itself against enemies with its prickly sting. It can also cause fatal injuries to humans. However, encountering a Mediterranean stingray is rare, and an attack usually occurs only if the animal feels threatened.

Dangerous animals in the Mediterranean: vacationers should be aware

Barefoot walkers in particular should beware of these little creatures: sea urchins. Small animal spines will break if you accidentally step on them and get stuck in the skin. This causes redness at the point of entry, which causes it to swell and become painful. The sting should be removed and disinfected immediately to prevent infection.

Recently, new dangers have spread in the Mediterranean: the Indian lionfish, for example – if it is touched, there is a risk of respiratory arrest in the worst case. The rabbit-headed puffer fish not only has a cute name, but it looks completely cute and harmless. But it is not harmful at all: this type of puffer fish is not only poisonous, it has very sharp teeth that can even pierce metal.

The general rule is: anyone who has been bitten or stung by an animal in or on the Mediterranean Sea, should, if possible, note its appearance or, if possible, take a picture. If symptoms appear, it is recommended to consult a doctor before worsening symptoms appear. Because, as we’ve learned, a sting or sting can, in the worst case, end deadly quickly – but usually only if appropriate action is not taken.

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