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Posted: March 01, 2018

Spring breakers, watch out: The Portuguese man o' war is back

Fast facts on Portuguese Man o’ war

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Spring breakers, watch out: The Portuguese man o' war is back
Portuguese man o' war. (Photo credit: Leeshypooh / Pixabay)

By Jake Harris, Austin American-Statesman

PADRE ISLAND, Texas —

Duuuhnuh. 

Duuuhnuh.

Dundundundundundundundunduuuuuunnnn.

No, we’re not talking about sharks, but there’s another sea creature that spring breakers might have to worry about.

>> Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

Park rangers at Texas' Padre Island National Seashore this week posted a photo of some of the first Portuguese man o’ war to hit the shore this season.

>> See the post here

SAFETY SNAPSHOT: We're back! In the last 24 hours many of the beautiful but painful sea creatures, Portugese man o' war,...

Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Similar sightings have been reported at Florida beaches in Palm Beach County and St. Augustine.

The Portuguese man o’ war, also known as “the floating terror,” looks pretty, but has enough venom in its tentacles to paralyze small fish and other prey. The venom is not deadly to humans (except in extremely, extremely rare cases), but it still hurts to get stung by a man o’ war.

If you do get stung, symptoms include severe pain, rashes, red welts on the skin, fever and other reactions that mimic an allergic reaction. Sometimes the tentacles can sting you and they won’t even be attached to the body of the man o’ war; they’re just out there, floating in the ocean. 

>> Read more trending news 

To treat a sting, rinse the sting site with vinegar to remove any leftover stingers, and then immerse the wound in hot water or cover it with a hot pack.

But as long as you keep an eye out, you should be fine. 


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