Are Starfish Poisonous?

Starfish, commonly referred to as sea stars, are toxic to humans. The sun star, the leather star, and the crown of thorns are examples of toxic starfish that can cause mild to severe poisoning in humans.

The most common poisonous starfish is the crown-of-thorns starfish. It lives on coral and eats it. It may reach a diameter of 3 feet and have up to 21 arms. This starfish has long spines that can readily pierce a wetsuit. Although not lethal to humans, its poison causes extreme redness and burning. In some instances, a person exposed to its toxin may experience nausea or vomiting. Spines may also detach and become embedded in the victim’s body.

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