Sea urchins are typically spiny, globular animals that can vary in colour including purple, red, pink and black. They range in size from 3cm to 10cm, and have a rigid, usually spherical body, bearing moveable spines.
They are widely distributed across all the oceans, all climates from tropical to polar environments, and inhabit marine benthic (sea bed) habitats from rocky shores to hadal zone depths.
A sea urchin puncture wound is always painful and will damage and hurt the skin’s tissue. After being punctured, the injured area will swell and become inflamed. Part of the spines may remain in the skin and cause irritation.
Sea urchins stings may be avoided. Whenever exiting the ocean, look carefully around you, particularly in rocky areas, intertidal pools, near coral and reef zones, and wet sand.
Place the affected area in hot water to relieve the pain (as hot as the victim can stand). Refer the victim to a doctor if the spines can not be removed and they may also need a tetanus booster. And don’t pick them up!