If you see this on the beach don’t touch it, run as fast as you can.

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It’s certainly a nice looking creature, sure to attract curious people wandering on a beach.They don’t even have the means to propel themselves in the water, just that tell-tale bubble that keeps them afloat. Typically, the Portuguese man o’ war will simply float along on the currents sometimes in pods of 1,000 or more.But there’s more to the Portuguese man o’ war than a pretty little bubble.

photo: nationalgeographic.com

here are tentacles – 30-foot-long ones at that. Some of which have been known to extend up to 165 feet!The tentacles and soft flesh make the Portuguese man o’ war resemble a jellyfish, but it’s not a true jellyfish.It’s actually four different organisms, each playing a separate role, like flotation or reproduction.They can deliver a nasty sting that it typically uses to paralyze its prey.

It causes painful welts and, in rare cases, can even kill. So what do you do if you encounter a Portuguese man o’ war? Instead, use cold compresses to bring down the swelling. If it gets worse, or you show signs of having an allergic reaction, go to the hospital.

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