New Jersey wildlife officials said they have begun to investigate why so many man-of-war sea creatures appeared on the beach in the last couple of weeks. According to recent reports, the latest one was seen on the shore of Stone Harbor last weekend.
Ann Delaney, one of the people who has seen the man-of-war creatures washed ashore, said she was walking on the beach on Sunday morning when she found the Portugues sea creature known as Physalia physalis on the ground. At first she thought it was a colorful plastic bag, but when she got closer she realized it was a living animal. Delaney said she didn’t touch the creature because she had read previously about it in the newspaper.
According to the officials, Delaney is one of the many people who spotted the man-of-wars lying on the beach along the coasts of southern Ocean County and Cape May County. Reports say that the first time the creature was spotted was on June 21 on Long Beach Island in Harvey Cedars. Some believe that creature may have been brought to these shores by the northeast winds.
The Portuguese man-of-war is a species of marine creature that has long tentacles of about 10 to 30 feet long. Marine biologists advise people not to touch it as the creature has a very painful sting, more painful than that of other species of jellyfish that live in the same area.
The sting of the man-of-war jellyfish can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, chest pain, high pulse rate, spasms, muscle pains and headache. If one gets stung by a man-of-war, one’s limbs can go numb, causing the individual to lose balance and collapse.
Dr. Paul Bologna, professor of biology at the Montclair State University, said that the sting of the man-of-war can be extremely painful, and for those who are allergic, it could be very dangerous, leading to shock.
Biologists and beach officials warn beachgoers not to come close or touch the man-of-wars because they risk to be stung and it will be a very painful experience. Also, the experts advise people to be careful when they are out swimming because these creatures’ tentacles are very long and can touch them from a considerable distance. Moreover, if anyone sees any man-of-wars washed off on the shores, they need to contact the officials or local lifeguards to safely remove the creatures from the beach.
Image Source: upi