I seem to have a talent for having random encounters with deadly wildlife. This perhaps explains why I prefer suburban landscapes. After a run in with a shark (kayaks and sharks) and the too-close-for-comfort blue ringed octopus (My blue ringed octopus encounter) I was making my way back to shore over the exposed reef, carefully poking before me with a metal pole when one of the stones I poked at made a “squelch” instead of a “clink”. There, to my horror and revulsion was a live stone fish, no doubt waiting to complete the job that the blue ringed octopus had begun before.
As this picture shows, the stone fish looks remarkably like….a stone. That is about all that can be said about it. Its modus operandi is to lie there pretending to be a stone until some innocent steps on it at which point it sticks a large poison filled spine directly into the sole of your foot sending one into paroxysms of agony.
My Australian orientated first aid training advised that the treatment for stone fish is to immerse one’s foot in a bucket of water as close to boiling point as you can endure. Given that that in itself does not sound particularly soothing I cannot imagine what the actual pain would be like. Also it is unlikely that you are going to have a bucket of nearly boiling water to hand when you are 100m or so from shore.
Gently turning it over to get a look at the underside I discovered that it resembled something out of “Alien” so there is no aspect of a stone fish that is remotely appealing.
I did not torment it and carefully turned it right side up where it continued to sit, looking like a stone with a slightly smug expression. According to all the outdoor education trainers who had been living in these areas for decades it was the first live stone fish they had ever seen photographed.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy