Deadly Portuguese Man Of War Jellyfish Wash Up In Unprecedented Numbers On Brazilian Beach

These deadly Portuguese man-of-war have been washing up in large numbers on a Brazilian beach.

Hundreds of the marine animals have been spotted on a beach in the municipality of Peruibe in the south-eastern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo over the Christmas period.

No injuries have been reported so far, despite the species packing a potentially deadly sting.

Some residents and tourists have been confusing the new arrivals with plastic bags.

Tourist Anna Seabra, 39, was one of those who spotted the otherworldly blue-and-pink-tinged hydrozoans on local Guarau beach.

Credit: Edson Ventura, BIOVENTURA/Newsflash

She said: “I usually visit my sister here in Peruibe. The men-of-war really scared me because they look like they’re from another planet. I’d never seen them before. I got really freaked out.

“I got up really close to them. I could see them breathing. It’s really crazy. It’s not something you see every day.”

Local biologist Edson Ventura told local media he had never seen so many Portuguese man-of-war in one place at one time.

He believes the strong winds and numerous waves have been responsible for such a large number of the hydrozoans turning up in the area.

He explained: “They don’t swim, they remain on the water’s surface. They have a bubble, full of air, which gives them buoyancy. Their tentacles remain underwater and they follow the ‘taste’ of the wind and current.”

Credit: Edson Ventura, BIOVENTURA/Newsflash
Portuguese caravel jellyfishes that are confused with ‘condoms’ on the coast of Sao Paolo, Brazil

Biologist Eric Comin told local media that the men-of-war were brought by the South Atlantic Central Water mass.

He explained: “This water is rich in nutrients and they come here during this time period, in the spring and summer. The water is a lot colder and there are many cnidaria present, like this animal.”

The Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) inhabits all tropical oceans. It is named as such for its resemblance to the man-of-war, a 15th century Portuguese warship.

It is considered dangerous, as its tentacles release a substance that can cause third-degree burns, and in extreme cases can sometimes cause cardio-respiratory arrest.

If stung, it is best to apply vinegar to the affected region until proper medical care is obtained.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: William McGeeSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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