Sport

Coffin ray will knock you sideways with its electric jolt

HE’LL MAKE YOU JUMP: The numbfish or coffin ray – an example of which (above) John Quarry photographed after it washed up on Airforce Beach, Evans Head – is renowned for packing a pretty solid electric shock.
HE’LL MAKE YOU JUMP: The numbfish or coffin ray – an example of which (above) John Quarry photographed after it washed up on Airforce Beach, Evans Head – is renowned for packing a pretty solid electric shock.

READER John Quarry was curious about this critter he photographed after it washed up on Airforce Beach at Evans Head last week.

It's a numbfish or coffin ray (Hypnos monopterygium), renowned for packing a pretty solid electric shock. I waded within about five metres of a hooked one many years ago in Wallaga Lake, on the South Coast, and we all felt through the water something like periodic jolts from an electric fence.

I've seen coffin rays in the Evans River, a haven for all sorts of rays. I saw this one on the beach and it was a whopper, around the maximum size of 60cm.

The Australian Museum says the electric organs are located at the base of the pectoral fins and are capable of generating shocks of more than 1000 volts and 50 amps - way more than you get from mains power.

The ray shocks crabs, worms and quite large fish prior to swallowing them whole through its cavernous gob.

But, the museum's website says, their diet is not restricted to these. There are records of numbfish swallowing rats and even penguins.

a numbfish or coffin ray
a numbfish or coffin ray

As with all rays, if you hook one it's best to cut the line as close to the mouth as is safely possible and let the hook rust out.

The sting from even the smallest ray can pack an awful punch.

I stepped on a common stingaree that hit me at Shark Beach at Evans on Christmas Eve, 1993 while swimming in murky water.

The barb struck at the base of the second toe and felt like a jab from a nail - and then somebody connected it to a power socket!

The small wound bled profusely and hurt immediately, about a 7 on a scale of 10 (with a kidney stone the undisputed 10).

I followed the standard first aid of frequently soaking the foot in hot water and even applied the old Fijian trick of chewing on the white stem of a young pandanus leaf and spitting the stuff into the water.

I don't know whether the pandanus made any difference clinically but the taste temporarily took my mind off the pain!

Topics:  editors picks fishing outdoor-living



GALLERY: Surfers evacuated after 2.5m bull shark spotted

SHARK INFESTED WATERS: DPI keeping track of sharks in our rivers and beaches, including a 2.5m metre bull shark reported at Ballina on Sunday. PHOTO: @nswsharkshark

Dept of Primary Industries has alerted Ballina beach authorities

Found: do you own these roads?

Rappville Pub.

A red tape error from more than 100 years ago has created mystery

VIDEO: Eco event about so much more than surfing

Abysse swimwear co-director Hanalei Reponty models local brand mermaid flippers by Mahina Mer-Fins. Photo by Alina Rylko.

Crowds drop-in by the thousands to colourful surf festival at Byron.

Local Partners

Cars toot during Lismore street protest

Motorists gave their morale suuport to a street protest about refugees on Saturday


Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Teeing off to support Jodie's Inspiration

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Vie for the top of the leaderboard, if you dare

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!