Portuguese Man o’ War found in Wildwood Crest, NJ

Mary Strenko a fan of our Facebook page sent us these pics of a Portuguese man-of-war that was found on the beach in Wildwood Crest, NJ this week. If you see one please contact the Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol.

Resembling an 18th-century Portuguese warship under full sail, the man o’ war is recognized by its balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and rises up to six inches above the waterline. Lurking below the float are long strands of tentacles and polyps that grow to an average of 30 feet and may extend by as much as 100 feet. The tentacles contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans. While the man o’ war’s sting is rarely deadly to people, it packs a painful punch and causes welts on exposed skin.

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