Stepping on a stingray is about as fun as sunbathing in a hailstorm..

Now, these usually docile, curious creatures aren’t out to get you, and their stingers are used exclusively in self-defense. Nevertheless, they don’t much fancy being stomped on, and an encounter isn't much for the person stomping on them, either.

Don’t get your beach towel in a twist worrying, and don’t stay out of the water! There’s an easy way to avoid a chance meeting with one of the critters, who often bury themselves in the sand, sometimes only inches from the shore.

When you’re walking in the ocean, simply shuffle your feet along the bottom. That way, the stingrays will feel the vibrations from your feet and have a chance to flee.

If you do get stung, the protein on the stinger is similar to that of a bee sting. A few people (like those allergic to bee stings) may develop a severe allergic reaction, necessitating immediate medical attention. However, if you’re like most people, following the basic first-aid treatment of soaking the area in hot water to help breakdown the toxins will suffice – though make sure to see a doctor afterward.