How Did This Happen?

Sea urchins, it was the sea urchins.

Well for me, one sea urchin in particular. My YouTube video of my friends trying to remove the spines from my foot has over 80 million views! What?? I guess a lot of people out there find this experience interesting. This video inspired the creation of my Black Hawaiian Lava Sea Salt Foot Scrub. Watch it below.

So...what happened??

I got to experience a sea urchin sting. I was snorkeling on Maui, Hawaii. Amy Chmelecki (Team Red Bull Air Force) filmed this sea urchin spine video during the Team Icarus Evolution project. We were all across the street from our condo spending some leisure time snorkeling in the ocean. I spotted an underwater arch/cave looking reef thing about 20ft deep. I was in the water with Wyat Drewes, my fiance at the time. I said, "Hey Wyat watch this. I'm going to swim under that reef arch!" I held my breath and swam down to swim under the arch.

As I approached it, I was a little apprehensive. But I had to go through with it. From up at the surface it looked harmless. Once I got closer, it was a little scary looking. It was dark under there and I started thinking about eels. I went for it anyways.

As I swam through it the water shifted and that scared me. It felt like I was going to get pushed into the coral. So I panicked and kicked really hard to swim out of there fast! I kicked the top of the reef arch with my heel and ouch that hurt!!

diana blackburn snorkling hawaiiWyat was watching me and as I swam to the surface he could tell something was wrong. The sea urchin spikes went through my flipper. Wyat held me up in the water so we could look at my heel. It was ugly. Big long spikes were sticking out of my heel. I didn't know what it was and thought it was maybe something poisonous that I could die from.

Wyat helped me swim to shore. Fruitcake (Jason Peters) and Amy Chmelecki came over to help. We weren't sure if I needed to go to the emergency room so we called our good friend Jimmy Hall who was a shark diving ocean expert. We described what happened and he said, "Oh that's just a sea urchin (uni). It will hurt, but it's not poisonous."

Boy oh boy was I relieved!! So Wyat and Fruitcake helped me walk to our condo across the street. Then the sea urchin spike removal surgery began. Amy filmed this video and laughed at my pain. Wyat tried to removed the spikes the best he could, but they were brittle and kept breaking off. I sucked it up, dealt with the pain and we continued our awesome Hawaii project/vacation.

The sea urchin spikes left a tattoo in my heel that lasted for about 2-3 weeks. What a trip! Now I know what it's like to get the wrath of the mighty sea urchin! This happened in 2003.

- Diana Blackburn (Daredevil Girl)


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