What may be seemingly innocent for some can turn into the worst nightmare for many; that is what happened to a user on TikTok who, by following a “fashion”, put his life in danger.
It is nothing new to come across news related to meaningless challenges on the Internet, putting people’s good judgment in check, although it is important to say that they do it to gain fame.
Alexa Reed went viral after uploading the video of his incredible feat: picking up a jellyfish -or what he thought it was- and licking it without considering the risk involved.
The young TikToker uploads content related to nature where, before disappearing from the networks, he uploaded videos doing all kinds of dangerous challenges. The last one he documented was the jellyfish he found on the beach.
Reed uploaded the video and with the message of “I’ll grab it and lick it” he had the response he wanted from his more than 900 thousand followers; The young man neither slow nor lazy licked the animal twice and commented that it had a “sticky” texture.
He did not know that he was at risk of dying after his lips touched the Portuguese man-of-war, a jellyfish-like species that can reach 30 meters in length.
The Portuguese man-of-war are siphonophore beings, they are not a single animal but a colony of organisms that work together, although closely related to jellyfish. Their bites are very painful and often leave welts on swimmers caught by their tentacles.
They can be found on the beaches of Australia and are responsible for up to 10,000 stings to people per year.
Its composition is a gelatinous sail of between 15 and 30 cm that allows it to travel the oceans driven by the winds, tides and sea currents, tentacles emerge from its central body that use them to catch their prey and that extended can reach up to 50 meters, although they normally measure 10.
The tentacles are equipped with stinging capsules called cnidocytes that can paralyze a large fish and seriously affect humans.
While regular beach surfers or swimmers may be more familiar with the dangers of the sea, people like the TikToker don’t have the necessary knowledge in such a situation.