After I posted the first stingray video about a week ago, I noticed that a large portion of people's comments were some form of "How did that thing not sting you?!" or "this gives me so much anxiety!" Even from people who I would expect knew the ins and outs of stingray barbs. Since there was some amount of confusion and some amount of stingrays still within my reach, I decided to show a little more about stingray barbs for any one with still lingering questions!
First of all, there are a TON of different types of stingrays, so the exact placement and behavior might vary from species to species. The overall message though is that stingrays are not going around finding people to sting randomly, they are simply trying to go about their day. When something tries to eat them, or that's what they think, they utilize a razor sharp barb on their tail to make their demise a lot harder on their attacker. Rather than "stinging" you, they really just assist you in impaling yourself by making it extremely convenient to do. They flick the barb in a position that is going to drive into your flesh and convince you WHOLEHEARTEDLY that you don't want to eat them anymore.
Touching a stingray in other parts than the tail is not going to hurt you! Now, they are normally frantically flopping around when you accidentally catch them while fishing, and that's when most people get stung, but if you have them in a calm spot, you can feel all around their belly and muscly body without being in danger! They are incredible animals and really amazing to look at up close, so don't be afraid, just be calm and watch what the animal is doing and you can see some cool shit.
Here are some videos of Stingrays actually "stinging" so you can see how it goes down.
Of course we need some Jeremy Wade in the mix