Posted August 24 2010 - 3:41 AM
Like many others in this thread, my BS meter was pegged after reading this "story", and still pegged after reading the "revided" version. First off, I can tell you unequi that a stingray barb would not fly off, travel 8 feet, and bury itself in a kid's stomach.
"How do I know?" you ask. Easy, I have been stabbed a by a stingray (the photo of the stingray barb in Otro Mundo's post is my photo). I stepped on the stingray, it swung its tail (and barb) up and out of the water penetrating my waders, fleece, and 3 inches of my leg. Despite all of this, the stinger didn't break off. It pulled right back out of my leg, and stayed attached to the stingray's tail. Stngray barb's are not like bee stingers. They are not designed to detach easily. They don't dislodge or come loose; they break off. Bees die after stinging, but a ray must still fend of its attacker (most often a shark). If their stinger was a one-and-done kind of weapon it would not be much good because it takes a long time for a barb to grow back. They typically only break off if they hit somehting hard like bone, which sharks don't have.
As far as hitting something hard, breaking off, and then flying through the air to stab the boy goes, I say no way. First off, the barb by itself has little weight. You need weight and speed to penetrate something. When I got hit, I could feel the power behind the tail swing, but it wasn't that fast. I could see it happening in slow motion, I just could not jump fast enough. I ceratinly wasn't fast enough to sink an unattached barb into anything. I could throw the barb in the photo at you as hard as I could, and at most the point might break the skin if it hit you straight on.
What most likely happened was that they caught the ray, and they were messing with it. It was probaby docile until someone poked it or squeezed it, and "bam" it stuck the kid. Then, they made up the story so they didn't look stupid, letting their kid mess with a stingray. When people started crying BS about the barb flying 8 ft through the air, they changed the story to blame some other mysterious unnamed fisherman to deflect the blame. "We were just standing there minding our own business, when this dude.....", " We told him not to do it...". Ask any cop, those are the hallmarks of a made up story. Boys mess with stuff, they get cut, banged up, bruised, burned, etc. Dad was probably involved, too. Stingrays are "cool"
Live and learn.