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Online forums are a great way for people to share stories and ask questions about things they don't know anything about. But unfortunately for one British tourist, he had to wade through a mountain of abuse before he got the answer he was looking for.
Reddit user weejiemcweejer posted a picture of five weird dots on what looks to be his foot, on the Australia page of the social networking site.
They wrote: "I'm a Brit, I went in the sea in your country and got stung or bit or something."
Instead of people clambering to play online doctor, people took the absolute piss.
"Did you put those black marks there yourself or did you bring the fucking bubonic plague here you dirty Brit?" wrote one person.
Weejiemcweejer tried to hit back, saying that he could have caught it from 'shagging one of you filthy ozzies' but people weren't having it.
A Reddit user replied with: "Aussies, not ozzies, you tea drinking heathen swine."
While another chimed in with: "Oh please, our Sheilas wouldn't fuck a toothy Brit even if they felt sorry for him."
If you've ever tried to diagnose even the lightest symptoms of an illness using Yahoo Answers, you'll know that even if it's a mild headache people will try to convince you it's cancer and you should start preparing your funeral - and that's exactly the direction this Reddit thread took.
One person said: "Chop it off. It's the only solution."
Another added: "Dude, seriously, get to the hospital, judging by the colouration you probably have less than 24 hrs to live. Marine hoop snake bites are no joke."
Finally, though, after the unsuspecting Brit had copped an online beating, some kind-hearted people revealed that it's most likely they stepped on a sea urchin.
A former dive instructor wrote: "Pull out any spike fragments remaining in your foot with tweezers and keep clean.
"There'll probably be some minor localised infection around the wounds and be a little painful for a couple of days, but you'll live. If an infection shows signs of taking hold though you'll need to see a doctor for some antibiotics."
Sea urchins are those small spikey things you see in and around rock pools and can leave a nasty sting if one of their spines pierces your skin. The bluey-purple colour is a result of the skin being stained by the urchin's natural colour.
Still, it's a lesson for all of us in choosing words carefully when asking for help online.
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