In spite of its fuzzy appearance, the fireworm is capable of delivering a painful sting through the short, white bristles along its sides. The bristles break off in the skin and release a toxin. The pain and itching from the sting can last for days. Fireworms are commonly found in the waters off the coast of Florida and the reefs of the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico. This image was captured by Dr. Anthony R. Picciolo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Dr. Anthony R. Picciolo, NOAA NODC
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