I've just been paddling off of the Kempinski hotel beach in Aqaba, Jordan and got several painful nips! I couldn't see anything that might be doing it and an hour after leaving the water it doesn't hurt and there isn't a swelling so I'm sure they aren't venomous but does anyone know what creatures bite here?

It's something on the sea floor rather than swimming around. The depth is from around 2 to 3 feet (60 - 90 cm approx.) Visibility is clear to the sea bed so anything 1cm or bigger would be visible unless well camouflaged.

Nothing visible on skin at all. Just a very brief pain like an injection with a broad hypodermic needle.

  • 1
    I've edited a little to hopefully make it more answerable. Not looking for absolutes, just curious as I never thought I might 've bitten!
    – G-.
    Dec 5, 2014 at 10:59
  • Nothing visible at all. Just a very brief pain like an injection with a broad hypodermic needle.
    – G-.
    Dec 5, 2014 at 11:01
  • Oh, and I did check for discarded hypodermic needles :) it was definitely a creature rather than litter, rocks or other debris as i wasn't always moving when it happened
    – G-.
    Dec 5, 2014 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


Perhaps "sea lice" which are larva of jelly fish. While most folks develop a rash, not everyone does and their "bite" (actually a sting of venom) feels like a needle.

There likely could be other sea life larva that can bite or burrow into your skin while swimming, but I am not familiar enough with the Red Sea to name names.

  • Sea-lice are arthropods, which means they are no closer to cnidarians like jellyfish than you are. Dec 6, 2014 at 10:32
  • The term sea lice is also used for jellyfish larva, hence my use of quotes in the original answer. But feel free to nitpick away.
    – user13044
    Dec 6, 2014 at 13:20

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