Celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls has made a career out of doing many disgusting things in order to show viewers how to survive in the wild. Some of these questionable practices include drinking his own urine out of a snakeskin, sleeping in an inside-out sheep carcass in order to escape the cold, and even giving himself an enema out at sea.
Amazingly, his outrageous expeditions have attracted numerous celebrities to join him on his survival quests, including the likes of Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, and even President Barack Obama.
Now, on a recent episode of Bear Grylls Running Wild, Grylls was joined by former Spice Girl and reality television judge Mel B for some adventuring. However, things got very awkward when the pair ran into a bit of trouble after discovering a jellyfish.
Grylls carefully picked up the washed-up jellyfish, telling Mel B how it can actually be eaten, but the sea creature was slippery and slid out of Grylls’s hand, causing him to be stung by one of the tentacles. He appeared to be in a lot of pain so Mel B did what she had to do.
Yes, that’s right. She peed on him.
Grylls admitted that he was out of urine, himself, so, with the pain intensifying, he let Mel B drop her pants and urinate over his hand. Mel B didn’t hesitate to perform the act and Grylls did say that it helped to relieve some of his pain.
Check out the video below:
However, some people on the internet are calling foul, claiming that the whole thing may have been set up considering that peeing on a jellyfish sting to relieve the pain is actually useless and is only an urban myth. In fact, Grylls has commented on the incident, claiming he did do a bit of pretending.
In an interview on ITV’s This Morning, Grylls admitting that he embellished how much on an effect Mel B’s selfless act had on his jellyfish sting. To be fair, he did tell Mel B that his hand still stung and only added that it felt a bit better.
“[It didn’t make] a huge difference, but I didn’t wanna be rude. It helped a little bit. But it wasn’t the miracle cure I’d been hoping for. I was like, ‘Oh great, that’s such a relief!’” Grylls told the morning show hosts.
While Mel B was only doing what countless movies and TV shows had taught her to do, Scientific American says that urine likely isn’t going to help the pain and in some cases could make it worse. It’s recommended to wash the area with salt water. Freshwater could make the sting more painful.
Jellyfish have specialized cells called nematocysts, which contain venom and cause the stinging sensation. Any change to the balance of solutes including the concentration of salt inside and outside these cells causes more stinging.
Therefore, adding freshwater would dilute the salt concentrations, causing an imbalance, which would lead to more pain. So what does this have to do with urine? Well, urine is made up of a mixture of salts and electrolytes, but the balance will vary depending on the person and what they’ve eaten.
So if the urine is too dilute, then it would act like freshwater and cause more pain, not less. It’s recommended to flush the area with salt water, or vinegar if it’s available. Then, to ensure all of the nematocysts are gone, later up with some shaving cream and scrape the area clean with a hard edge.
The pain should subside on its own, usually within 24 hours. Until then, topical pain relievers are fine to use. Depending on the jellyfish, there’s no need to be concerned, but in some places, like Australia, lifeguards are prepared with morphine and antivenom solutions for the more deadly varieties of jellies.
So, while it’s unlikely Mel B’s pee had much of an effect on Bear Grylls’s jellyfish sting, assuming her pee was rather salty, it is possible it could have helped a bit. However, in the future, it’s best to just use seawater to flush the area. There’s no need for public urination.