When the English-speaking world thinks of Medusa, we remember the Greek myth of three horrible sisters who have snakes for hair.
In Italy when one hears the word Medusa the following comes to mind:
Now let’s review:
English Medusa = Greek mythology.
Italian Medusa = JELLYFISH!
Yesterday afternoon we took a nice long stroll along our favourite beach. It was a beautiful hot spring day and we enjoyed it to the fullest. On our walk back my husband noticed a jellyfish on the ground and I just had to snap a photo.
My husband has told me his horror stories as a boy being stung by a jellyfish. His body was covered with welts that lasted over a year. He survived.
Last year a 69 year old woman from Cagliari was swimming in Porto Tramatzu in the comune of Villaputzu when she was stung by a jellyfish. She was able to walk out of the ocean to call for help, but moments later she collapsed on the beach and died from cardiac arrest.
Every year I hear stories of people being stung by a medusa/jellyfish. Every year I see people coming out of the ocean shrieking in pain.
I found this reference chart by The International Ciesm JellyWatch Programme which outlines the various types of Medusa living in the Mediterranean.
Before you jump head first into the warm inviting waters of the Mediterranean I suggest having a look around first:
- Are there other swimmers in the water?
- Do you see people coming from the water shrieking in pain?
- Can you see something floating peacefully in the water? Maybe it’s just a piece of plastic but maybe it’s a MEDUSA.
- Look before you leap!
Have you or someone you know been stung by a jellyfish? Tell me your stories below.