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Toxic specks of seaweed can give you a nasty rash

By Susan Scott

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 14, 2014

~~<p>Would you write about the nearly invisible brown specks in the ocean that sting?&quot; emailed a reader last week. &quot;They travel in swarms. We encountered them at Pipeline recently. The stings result in itchy, red, round spots the next day. What are they, and are the stings treated with vinegar like jellyfish stings?&quot;</p>
<p>Given the area and time of year, my guess is that the culprit is not swarms of critters, but wisps of seaweed. Here in Hawaii it's known as stinging limu. In Australia it's called mermaid hair and fire weed.</p>
~~

Would you write about the nearly invisible brown specks in the ocean that sting?" emailed a reader last week. "They travel in swarms. We encountered them at Pipeline recently. The stings result in itchy, red, round spots the next day. What are they, and are the stings treated with vinegar like jellyfish stings?"

Given the area and time of year, my guess is that the culprit is not swarms of critters, but wisps of seaweed. Here in Hawaii it's known as stinging limu. In Australia it's called mermaid hair and fire weed. Login for more...



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