Another Portuguese man o’ war found on Fylde coast beach

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Another venomous Portuguese man o’ war has been found washed up on a Fylde coast beach.

 

The jellyfish-like creature, which is commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, was found on St Annes beach this morning.

It follows the discovery of another man o’ war by a dog walker on the beach halfway between Preesall and Pilling on Monday.

A Fylde Coast Sand Dunes spokesman said: “This isn’t one animal, but a mass of smaller animals called zooids, which live together as a single floating colony.

The man o' war on St Annes beach. Picture by Fylde Coast Sand Dunes

The man o’ war on St Annes beach. Picture by Fylde Coast Sand Dunes

Portuguese man o’ wars have a sail and gas-filled bladder which allows them to be carried along ocean currents. Unfortunately though, this also means that they have no control over where they drift, and can be stranded after being blown ashore by strong winds.

“After last week’s stormy weather, Portuguese man o’ wars have been spotted on beaches all over the North West. If you do see one though, please don’t touch it! They have a painful sting which they use to catch fish, but their tentacles can still sting after they are dead.”

Man o’ war stings usually cause severe pain to humans, leaving whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last two or three days, though the pain usually subsides after about 1 to 3 hours.

But the venom can travel to the lymph nodes and can cause symptoms that mimic an allergic reaction, including swelling of the larynx, airway blockage, cardiac distress, and an inability to breathe. Other symptoms can include fever and shock, and in some extreme cases, even death.

A Blackpool Council spokesman added: “Whilst they certainly look intriguing, if you spot one of these during any coastal walks, please be sure to take a peek with your eyes only as they can deliver a painful sting.”