Man Cheats Death After He 'Stood On' World's Deadliest Fish: 'Agonizing'

An Australian man says he managed to survive a sting from the world's most venomous fish with just red wine to get him through it.

Photographer Adam Clancy's night in April was derailed after he accidentally stepped on a stonefish, but it didn't unfold exactly the way you might expect. Clancy said he refused a hospital visit and painkillers, having his friend fetch him a bottle of wine and some whiskey instead.

The stonefish is the most venomous fish in the ocean and many have died after being stung by one. Stonefish boast 13 needle-like spines able to create venom that can be lethal to humans.

Adam Clancy drinking wine
Adam Clancy drinking wine after the sting. Adam Clancy

"I was walking through water at night time and didn't see the stonefish," Clancy told Newsweek. Stonefish have an impressive ability to blend into their surroundings and are almost invisible at low tide.

Clancy didn't realize what he had stepped on at first but managed to snap a quick picture of it swimming away to show to his friend. After being informed of just how venomous and potentially deadly it is, he asked about how he would continue taking photos that night. "Don't worry about that mate, you are about to be in a lot of pain," they replied.

"My friend took me inside where she put my foot in very hot water. I waited for the paramedics to arrive, when he did he monitored my vitals for an hour, adding hot water to the bucket every now and then," said Clancy.

"The venom did impact me just like it was supposed to, I have a high tolerance to pain and believe that worrying in those situations is what makes it worse."

The venom of a stonefish not only causes severe pain, but can also have harsh impacts on the body, including heart failure and sometimes even death. In most cases, anti-venom is the go-to solution when possible.

Adam Clancy's foot
Adam Clancy's foot after being stung by a stone fish. Adam Clancy

"The paramedic recommended I go to hospital but I declined, he offered painkillers but I told him red wine will do fine," Clancy told Newsweek. "I went home, kept my foot in hot water for a couple hours, drank a bottle of wine and went to sleep."

"I went back to work the next day and I was limping on that foot for three weeks."

Clancy gained internet fame when he shared his experience in real-time, posting a quick video of the aftermath to TikTok. The post has since gained 9 million views.

"Apparently I'm the most chilled out guy in agonizing pain ever," he said in the video, showing his foot to be red, swollen and blistered while he sipped on a glass of red wine.

"I don't recommend handling it like I did, some people go into shock from the pain, some people pass out," Clancy clarified to Newsweek.

So how did Clancy manage to soldier through a sting from the world's most venomous fish, aided by nothing but alcohol? "I'm just Aussie," he said.

Stone fish
Stock image of a stone fish. An Australian man claimed to have survived the sting with just hot water and red wine. Getty Images

Correction 06/08/22, 6:21 a.m. ET: This article was updated to correct a reference to the stonefish as a snake.

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