They look like an extra large pancake with a tail. Every day local beachgoers come in contact with these bottom dwellers, with some painful results. We're talking about stingrays, and like the name indicates, they have stingers that can ruin your day. But there is a way to maneuver around these camouflage creatures.
There are many stingray species in the ocean, but the one we see most at the beach in San Diego is the round stingray. They don't mean us any harm, but if you step on one it will use its one defense, which is a barbed stinger at the base of its tail.
If you just shuffle your way through the sand, you can avoid a painful problem.
"These stingrays are local residents to La Jolla Shores anywhere it's sandy up and down San Diego. They're found in about ankle-deep water out to about chest deep. People get stung when they jump off of their surfboard and land smack down on the sand. Unfortunately the sting ray is here on the sand, he steps on the back and the stinger comes up and whack right on his ankle," Eddie Kisfaludy of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography Marine Biology Research Division said.
If a stingray stings you, first find a lifeguard. For immediate pain relief, put the wound in a bucket of hot water for up to an hour, but make sure the temperature won't burn your skin. Immediately follow up with a doctor to avoid a possible infection.