Health & Medicine

Did Californians really spray sunscreen on their eyes to watch the eclipse?

Surprise! Watch jet cross through the 2017 eclipse during totality

Video by Robert Harper of Asheville, N.C., catches the surprise appearance of a jet crossing the moon as it eclipses the sun during the eclipse totality, 2:38 p.m., on August 21, 2017. Harper caught the scene on a tripod-mounted Panasonic Lumix D
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Video by Robert Harper of Asheville, N.C., catches the surprise appearance of a jet crossing the moon as it eclipses the sun during the eclipse totality, 2:38 p.m., on August 21, 2017. Harper caught the scene on a tripod-mounted Panasonic Lumix D

A report that some Californians have been treated for applying sunscreen to their eyes to watch Monday’s eclipse has rocketed across the globe.

In a report Tuesday on eclipse-related eye injuries, Northern California TV station KRCR reported that Trish Patterson, a nurse practitioner at Prestige Urgent Care in Redding, said people had come to the clinic Monday after applying sunscreen to their eyes in an attempt to safely watch the eclipse.

“One of my colleagues that moonlight here stated yesterday that they had patients presenting at their clinic that put sunscreen on their eyeball, and presented that they were having pain and they were referred to an ophthalmologist,” Patterson told the station.

The news that kooky Californians thought sunscreen was for eyeballs quickly spread, with television stations across the U.S. picking up the report. Similar stories, all citing the initial KRCR report, also appeared on Forbes, Popsugar and Britain’s The Sun, among others.

And it didn’t take long for the jokes about Californians to start flowing online.

A number of people, however, had posted tweets prior to the eclipse advising eclipse-watchers, perhaps jokingly, to spray their eyes with sunscreen if they lacked protective eyeglasses.

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