This past week, a group of bathers in Playa Panama, in Guanacaste, were surprised to see several erizos (sea urchins) in the water, capturing the attention of all by their curious thorns and attractive color; tourists took the opportunity to take pictures.

Guana Noticias reported some of the bathers tried to remove the erizos to place them on the edge of a trunk, but not possible due their large number.

Faced with this curious fact, online Guanacaste news site spoke with SINAC Tempisque Conservation Area, Mauricio Méndez.

“This species, centrostephanus coronatus is very common and abundant in the area, can be observed when diving or in the rocky parts that are covered by water. They basically eat algae,” said Méndez.

According to the SINAC biologist, given this rainy season has been relatively low in rain and with a lot of sun, it is not surprising to see the growth of algae and therefore that the Erizos grow according to the availability of food.

Their curious thorns can be very painful, but not lethal.

“They have non-poisonous neurotoxin but it can be very annoying if punctured; if it were to become infected, it could cause other problems,” concluded Mauricio Méndez.

Tourists and locals are warned to be careful not to get hurt when spotting sea urchins on the seashore.  It is recommended to keep a distance.

Playa Panama is located north of Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco, within Culebra Bay in the scenic Gulf of Papagayo.

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