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The dangerous fireworm spreads quickly

The dangerous fireworm spreads quickly

A dangerous sea creature may be hiding buried in the sand on the beaches of Italy.Image: Shutterstock

Yannick Sauer/

One of the many problems brought by the climate crisis is the rapid reproduction of certain species. Due to the global rise in temperatures, a scenario arises again and again where a certain species finds ideal conditions and ruthlessly drives out others.

This disrupts food chains, which in turn can push entire ecosystems to the brink of collapse – with unforeseen consequences for people and nature.

In addition to this long-term damage, in some cases there is also a very immediate danger to people. This is the case when crawling species are particularly dangerous.

This is exactly what is currently threatening the Mediterranean region, especially on the beaches in Italy.

Holiday in Italy: Researchers warn of the dangerous fireworm

So-called fireworms are currently multiplying at an alarming rate in the Mediterranean Sea. This was reported by the Austrian, among others “Kronen Zeitung”.

The impressive and colorful sea worms, which can grow up to 30cm long and are reminiscent of colorful centipedes, have almost no natural enemies and can regenerate themselves.

Fireworm, Hermodice carunculata, Vis Island, Mediterranean, Croatia Fireworm, Hermodice carunculata, Vis Island, Mediterranean, Croatia Fireworm, Croatia *** Fireworm, Hermodice carunculata, Vis I...

Vacationers in the Mediterranean should be careful of fireworms.Image:

They also pose a real danger to humans thanks to their spines: they serve to ward off predators and contain neurotoxic secretions. If you touch the carnivorous millipedes – which like to bury themselves in the sand – Burning pain, skin redness, and swelling may occur. In some cases, dizziness and nausea occur.

It is often difficult to get the spines out of the skin because they break quickly. Fireworms, scientific name Hermodes carunculata, are found in seagrass meadows and on hard bottoms, but also in sand and on beaches.

They currently find ideal conditions, especially in southern Italian regions such as Sicily, Puglia and Calabria. According to the Italian newspaper Daily, “Il Messaggero“We are The heat waves that struck Italy during the past three years may be a possible reason for the invasion.

Fireworm contact: Researchers offer advice to vacationers

The Kronen Zeitung newspaper quoted a researcher working in the field of fireworms at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia as saying: “We have been able to isolate an irritating substance, but we are still far from that” to thinking about possible treatments for stings.

Anyone who comes into contact with the spines of fireworms should do so Disinfect affected areas with alcohol or vinegarProviding advice to researchers.

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