Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Thousands of Portuguese men-of-war with an intense, painful sting and venomous tentacles wash up on Florida beach

Photo Real Monstrosities

It's sting has been known to kill!
Thousands of Portuguese men-of-war - those neon blue alien blobs with long, stringy tentacles - have washed up along the Space Coast's most populated beaches in recent days, prompting a warning from Brevard Ocean Rescue.
"We've issued a man-of-war advisory for the day and extending into the next few days.
Avoid them, don't touch them, don't step on them," Brevard County Ocean Lifeguard chief Eisen Witcher said of the toxic, jellyfish-like marine creatures.
"We treated 66 stings over the last few days.
In one case we had to send a 2-year-old to the hospital because of an allergic reaction to the sting." Men-of-war, known for their intense, painful stings and venomous tentacles, are not jellyfish but actually siphonophores, which are made up of several different organisms sharing a communal purpose, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
They typically bob up along the surface of the water before washing up along Brevard's 72-mile shoreline where they can remain on the sand for days.
In this case, the creatures have been dotting the beach en masse from Cocoa Beach to Patrick Air Force Base.
The men-of-war may look unusual enough that some people unfamiliar with their history might attempt to step on them or even pick them up.
"Their sting is a little bit more severe than a jellyfish sting, like a wasp," Witcher said.
More stings are anticipated as good weather brings out beachgoers.
Those who suffer a sting should contact a lifeguard or seek immediate medical attention.
"You can scrape off the tentacles with a credit card to get rid of the sting. Then rinse it off if the pain persists," Witcher said.
As for the old home remedy of using urine to relieve the pain, Witcher said not to bother.
Urine contains ammonia, one of several substances, including vinegar, that can ease the stinging sensation.
"There's not enough of an ammonia content in urine to help," he said.

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