We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their most mortifying beach stories. Here are some of their responses!
1. The very embarrassing overreaction:
"When I was 14 I was on a beach in California and I'd unfortunately gotten my period that morning. I was using a tampon for the first time and had not fully inserted it (I thought the discomfort was something you just had to deal with!). Anyway, my sister and I were in the sea for a bit and when we came out we played on the sand for a while, but when I stood up she started screaming that a jellyfish was attached to me.
"Upon seeing the blood dripping down my legs and the tampon (which as it was wet did look rather like a jellyfish) hanging out of my bikini bottoms, I joined her in her hysteria. Everyone on the beach was staring at us and it wasn't until my mum came over and told me that it was just my tampon that I calmed down, I still had to do a walk of shame up the beach to get a new tampon and to clean myself up which was possibly the most mortifying part."
2. The mistake that was more horrifying than mortifying:
"When I was ten, I was searching for shells along the shore when I spotted a large, gleaming, white shape under the water. Thinking it was a conch, I excitedly plunged my hand in, bringing up a rancid dead fish carcass. Never used that hand again for anything."
3. The very messy incident:
"I spent 10 days in Costa Rica in 2010. I had trouble the first few days with constipation from traveling. I decided to drink some expired Milk of Magnesia that claimed it would take about six hours to 'work.' After taking the medicine, I went on a two mile walk AWAY from the villa on the beach. So, I'm two miles away from a toilet, on the beach, and the urge to shit came on quick.
My fiancé (at the time) was with me, and told me to just go in the ocean. So I went out far enough that the water covered my waist and just went for it. As I'm expelling several days worth of Costa Rican seafood into the ocean, I realise the waves are pushing the shit back onto me. I can't stop going, so I just had to stand there as the waves capsized with my own excrement and washed over me...again and again and again. I felt so much better...but a shower was the absolute first thing I did when I got back!"
4. The wrong-room fiasco:
"I was on vacation with my family when I was 13. We were at the beach and I was starting to get a little burnt, so I decided to head back to the hotel. We had a ground-floor room with a sliding glass door that was left open, so I didn't bother with the key. I took a shower and pranced out of the bathroom stark naked, and BAM! There were three strangers staring at me with their jaws dropped. I had gone back to the wrong room! I managed to squeak out 'Is this room 114?' One of them told me it was next door. I grabbed my shorts and bolted."
5. The unpleasant piece of debris:
"I was in Mexico last year with my family. My little sister and I were swimming in the ocean, and there was a lot of seaweed and debris in the water but we just picked it up and threw it farther away from us. I go to do this and realised immediately that whatever was in my hand was too squishy. It was a human poop. In my hand. My 25-year-old ass ran screaming and crying from the water across the resort to wash my hands. I had many daiquiris after that."
6. The double-whammy of embarrassment:
"On a family vacation in Myrtle Beach, I was out jumping these *huge* waves with my cousins. One wave in particular knocked the top half of my bathing suit down and a father teaching his young son how to surf got QUITE an eyeful. To add insult to injury, literally right after I pulled my bathing suit up, a freaking fish jumped out of the water and smacked my face. Hard. They saw that too. Maybe someone in their family is contributing to this same story with 'one time we saw this girl’s boobs and then a fish slapped her face.'"
7. The seriously bad toilet-troubles:
"On a family vacation to Florida I became very constipated. My family was feeding me high fibre cereals and laxatives for days. One night I went out to the beach with my sister. Out of nowhere all the fibre and laxatives hit and I needed to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t make it back to the condo and had to diarrhoea on the beach. My sister was kind enough to lend me her tank top to wipe with and luckily no one seemed to be around."
8. The flirting fail:
"I went to the beach with a friend in high school, and we saw two reeeeeally cute boys a few spaces away from us. We did that thing where we would just kind of stare at them until they looked at us, then we would turn away and giggle. This went on for a little while and then my friend and I went into the water, which was about waist-high. A few minutes later, still in the water, I made eye contact with one of the cuties and he started WALKING TOWARD US LOOKING RIGHT AT ME. That was when I projectile vomited right into the water and ran away. I'm not sure if it was sun poisoning, the water hitting my stomach over and over, plain old nerves or a combination of the three, but that was the first and the last time I've ever tried to flirt at the beach!"
9. This poor peeing-in-the-sea etiquette:
"One of my family’s favourite stories: when I was three I was at a beach in Spain and really needed to pee. I told my mom and she said as there were no public toilets around, to go in the sea. Having never done this before, my naive three-year-old self walks up to the shore, stands ankle deep in water, pulls my bikini bottoms down and pees in full view of all the holidaymakers on the very crowded beach. My family never let me forget this story and mention it at every beach trip."
10. The very public pooping:
"I can't believe I'm actually admitting this. We went to the Great Salt Lake once and there were not any bathrooms there. We're swimming and having fun when my gut starts cramping and gurgling and I'm like 'oh fuck, I need to shit right NOW. RIGHT NOW!' There's people everywhere and here I am running into the lake, pulling down my trunks, and taking a shit in the lake. I was absolutely mortified."
11. The accidental flashing:
"It was a particularly windy day, so the waves were pretty big. I was facing the shore talking to my mom when a huge wave hit me from behind and knocked me on my face! I basically did a front flip in the water, scraping my face and my back on the sand. When I jumped up to avoid getting pounded by another wave, my bikini bottoms were by my knees, and I was only in ankle deep water, so you can imagine what everyone on shore saw!"
12. The terrible realisation:
"OK so not me but my aunt. She and my mom were on vacation in Portugal, and spent most of their time on the beach. One day my aunt had to poop, and my mom jokingly told her to take a dump in the water as there were no bathrooms (this was the '70s). A while later, mom sees her sister frantically grabbing at stuff in the water, clearly in a state of panic. She had taken my mom's advice to heart, but did not realise that poop in fact floats until it was too late. She grabbed the turds and ran back to the beach and buried it, and her pride, in the sand. My mom still cries laughing when this is brought up."
13. The sea sickness:
"When me (aged 12) and my family were in Turkey, I decided it would be a great idea to eat two triple-chocolate ice creams in quick succession, then immediately enter the sea. After bobbing around for about a minute, I was overcome with nausea and proceeded to vomit directly into the ocean. Everyone started screaming and running back into the beach while I, still green in the face, limply tried to swim away from my own floating vomit whilst pretending it wasn’t me. Everyone knew it was of course, and my family have never let it go since. I’d never been more embarrassed, but I now see the funny side."
14. This period-plus-peeing nightmare:
"I was at Myrtle Beach for summer vacation and I was also on my period. I had a tampon in and couldn't feel if my bladder was full or not and I peed on the rental beach chairs. I was mortified. To make things worse I later got a UTI, and there was a really obvious stain on the rental beach chair."
15. And the very literal case of "having the runs":
"When I was in high school I went on vacation with my boyfriend at the time’s family to South Carolina. After dinner one night my stomach felt a little weird, but I just ignored it. So the next day we were maybe a couple of miles down the beach from the house we were renting when all of the sudden I felt a stomach cramp. I immediately took off down the beach (I don’t remember what I told them I needed to do) and as I was speed walking, I ended up having diarrhoea and it just seeped right out of my swimsuit and ran down my leg in front of EVERYONE!"
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.