Dead Sea Urchins, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica October 2019
These are my favorite kind of sea urchins, dead ones.* I know that sounds harsh coming from a self-professed nature lover but there is a personal reason for my animus.
Years ago (no, I won’t tell you how many, suffice it say it was quite awhile ago), my husband of one whole month and I traveled to Grand Cayman to attend my sister’s beach wedding. It was a special event that I almost missed thanks to a damn sea urchin.
While wading in a tranquil, turquoise-colored tide pool I had the serious misfortune of stepping on one. I have a really high pain threshold but this was excruciating! It not only stung but it spasmed as if being stabbed by dozens of tiny, electrified skewers. In other words, I don’t recommend touching a live one.
As I limped back to the hotel we passed our housekeeper who empathized with my predicament and said as a child she would just pee on any sea urchin stings. At that point I was willing to try anything! Only one small problem, as a woman, it is a considerable challenge to pee on the underside of my own foot.
So, I turned to my spouse (who had that manly ability to aim) and ordered him to pee on me. His answer? “But, I don’t have to pee!” I could’ve murdered him (justifiably so). Thankfully, a couple bottles of water later the curative pee was dosed to my instantaneous relief. So, yes, I still hold a grudge against sea urchins.
*Note: I found these tests during a recent beach walk, I did not have anything to do with their demise.