TIME Science

Here’s What a Jellyfish Sting Looks Like in Slow-Motion

Microscope shows a close-up of the tiny, venom-filled barbs penetrating your skin

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If you’re afraid of getting stung by a jellyfish, just wait until you know what’s actually happening.

Going viral now is a video by the YouTube channel SmarterEveryDay that shows scientists at James Cook University in Australia using a high-speed camera to capture microscopic footage of the stinging process — in which small barbs on the jellyfishes’ tentacles called nematocysts thrust out as the victim brushes by. In other words, when you get stung by a jellyfish, you’re basically getting stabbed by hundreds of venom-filled, hypodermic needles.

Even better? It all happens within 11 milliseconds.

MORE: Can We Learn to Love The Jellyfish?

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