MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WCMH) — South Carolina officials are warning beachgoers to watch their steps as Portuguese man-of-wars are washing onshore.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the highly-venomous relatives of jellyfish have recently been reported on South Carolina beaches.
You should steer clear of these highly venomous relatives of jellyfish both in the water and ashore, as even a dead man-of-war has a sting strong enough to sometimes require medical attention. Fortunately, the bright blue ‘float’ of a man-of-war makes them easy to recognize and avoid. ❎SCDNR
Typically a resident of the open ocean, these fascinating animals (whichare not actually one creature, but four types living together in a colony) are occasionally pushed ashore by strong winds. They have recently washed onto beaches from Florida to North Carolina.
According to NOAA, the man-of-war is recognized by a balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet or pink and rises up to six inches above the waterline. Below the float are long strands of tentacles and polyps that average 30 feet long, but can be as long as 100 feet.
A man-of-war can sting even weeks after washing ashore.