Spain: Portuguese man o’war jellyfish hospitalises woman

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Also called a ‘Floating Terror’, the marine hydrozoan sparks fear as it carries a venom that has occasionally been deadly to its victims. During the past year, the animals were reportedly seen 62 times in the UK, as strong wind and storms lead to them washing up. Amy Pilsbury, Citizen Science Programme Developer at the Marine Conservation Society, told The Mirror: 

“Jellyfish come to the UK’s coasts during the summer months every year, but it’s more to do with the wind carrying Portuguese Man o’ War to our coasts, than temperature having an effect.

“Due to their large air-filled floats, they can easily be blown in windy weather, so often you might spot more than one.”

Colonies of hundreds of such jellyfish washed up in 2017 on the beaches of Devon, after hurricane Ophelia.

A strict warning urged people not to approach the coasts back then.

The Portuguese man o’ war belongs to the community of organisms that live at the ocean surface.

It has numerous venomous microscopic cells which deliver a painful sting powerful enough to kill fish and has been known to occasionally kill humans.

Although it superficially resembles a jellyfish, it is in fact a colonial organism, made up of many, genetically identical smaller units.

The tentacles of the animal are typically 30ft long and can reach up to 100ft.

On contact, they inject venom, stinging, paralyzing, and killing their prey, including adult or larval squids and fishes.

Although most often seen from September through December, the dangerous Portuguese man o’ war were spotted washed up across Cornwall in April this year.

St Austell Coastguard spotted a number of the striking-looking sea creatures coming ashore and shared a warning to people to beware of the animal.

The coastguard wrote on Facebook: “Whilst out on local patrol this morning we have come across a number Portuguese Man of War jelly fish coming ashore.

“Please be careful when on the beach with children or dogs, as the stings can be very nasty.”

Specifically, the coastguard advised people to look out for beach warning signs and consider wearing a wetsuit while swimming in the sea, particularly during the spring and summer.

Moreover, they advised people to wear waterproof shoes or sandals when walking in shallow water or rocky areas and to scuff or stamp their feet when walking in shallow water to make sea creatures aware they’re approaching.

In case someone gets stung by the creature, they should:

  • Rinse the affected area with seawater (not fresh water)
  • Remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card
  • Soak the area in very warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for at least 30 minutes – use hot flannels or towels if you cannot soak it
  • Take painkillers such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen

Source: Read Full Article