Ognjeni črvi so počasne živali na morskem dnu. Vir: Flickr
Ognjeni črvi so počasne živali na morskem dnu. Vir: Flickr

Are you scared of fireworms?

The media during summer days is often flooded with news about dangerous animals living in the sea.

The more frightening and dramatic the news, the faster it spreads. In the headlines of journalists’ articles, therefore, they like to show off words that frighten people. But they are often exaggerated and even untrue.

Have you encountered the news about the invasion of fireworms that prey on bathers in the Adriatic Sea? They were written last year when one allegedly attacked a swimmer who then needed medical attention.

Upon careful reading and research on this species, it becomes clear that fireworms do not attack humans. It is true, however, that it is not pleasant to step on them or touch them in any other way.

Ognjeni črvi se prehranjujejo predvsem z mrhovino, vendar so tudi plenilci in lahko napadejo kakšno morsko zvezdo. Vir: Wikipedia
Credit: Wikipedia

Fire worms belong to the polychaetes. This group of mostly marine animals is named after the many bristles that grow out of their bodies. They move slowly, are about 15 centimeters in size and are clearly visible underwater due to their red color.

They feed on other organisms and plants on the seabed, including starfish. If they feel threatened, they push out their white bristles, which contain poison.

The bristles can penetrate the skin and cause itching and a burning sensation at the injection site. At that time, it is recommended to remove the needles with adhesive tape and rinse the injection site with cold sea water. Then place compresses soaked in alcohol and apply anti-inflammatory cream.

In some cases, nausea and dizziness may also be felt. If we still feel unwell after a few hours, experts recommend a visit to the doctor.

Points to Consider

  1. Which news scare you most?
  2. Which animals can also hurt us if we step on them?
  3. What can you do to avoid them?


The original version of this article was published on July 13th.

English translation courtesy of JL FlannerTotal Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.


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