Nematocyst Discharge

This cell is one of thousands on the tentacles of this starlet sea anemone and other cnidarians, including hydra and jellyfish. These cells contain poison darts that sting with as much impact as a speeding bullet (0:04)

Latest Videos

Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: What’s the Difference Between Bacteria and Viruses?
Ask Smithsonian: What’s the Difference Between Bacteria and Viruses? (1:18)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: Do People Really Drill Holes in Their Heads?
Ask Smithsonian: Do People Really Drill Holes in Their Heads? (0:58)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: How Does Anesthesia Work?
Ask Smithsonian: How Does Anesthesia Work? (1:17)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: Lightning Round
Ask Smithsonian: Lightning Round (1:12)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: Does Acupuncture Work?
Ask Smithsonian: Does Acupuncture Work? (1:00)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: How Do Taste Buds Work?
Ask Smithsonian: How Do Taste Buds Work? (1:13)
Preview thumbnail for video'Sponsored Video: Papua New Guinea — A Million Different Journeys
Sponsored Video: Papua New Guinea — A Million Different Journeys (0:59)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: What’s a Stone Baby?
Ask Smithsonian: What’s a Stone Baby? (1:07)
Preview thumbnail for video'Ask Smithsonian: Why Do Bugs Die on Their Backs?
Ask Smithsonian: Why Do Bugs Die on Their Backs? (0:53)