‘Deadly’ creature washes up on Lytham beach following stormy weather

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

A sting can cause nasty welts on exposed skin and in rare cases they have had the potential to kill a human.

 

A Portuguese Man o' War
A Portuguese Man o’ War

More ‘deadly’ sea creatures have washed up on Lancashire’s beaches after being spotted only a few days ago.

The creature, which looks rather like a fluorescent jellyfish, is actually called a Portuguese Man o’ War – also known as the man-of-war, bluebottle, or blue bottle jellyfish.

ADVERTISING

Earlier this week on Monday (November 8), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution issued a warning urging people to stay away from the creatures as they can give a nasty sting. This can happen even when dead.

The warning came after Preesall and Ainsdale beaches were hit by washed up Portuguese Man o’ Wars.

The tentacles contain venom that are capable paralysing and killing small fish and crustaceans. A sting can cause nasty welts on exposed skin and in rare cases they have had the potential to kill a human.

After a bout of stormy weather in Lancashire, the Portuguese Man o’ War have been turning up on Lancashire beaches and were spotted on St Anne’s beach on the Fylde coast as recent as yesterday (October 10).

A spokesperson on the Wildlife Trust’s ‘Fylde Sand Dunes’ Facebook page said: “Look at what’s washed up on the shore at St Anne’s! It’s not a jellyfish, it’s a Portuguese Man O War!

“This isn’t one animal, but a mass of smaller animals called zooids, which live together as a single floating colony.

“They have a sail and gas bladder which allows them to be carried along ocean currents without having to use any energy! Unfortunately 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, Man O War have been spotted all over the North-West!

“If you do see one though, don’t touch! They have a painful sting which they use to catch fish, but their tentacles can still sting after they are dead!”

The creatures are mainly in the Pacific Ocean however the ‘marine hydrozoan’ can also be spotted in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Although it has the appearance of a jellyfish, it is actually a species of siphonophore and isn’t one animal but a mass of small organisms called zooids.

The genetically identical organisms, are divided into four specialised parts responsible for a specific task, such as floating, capturing prey, feeding, and reproduction.

  • To find out more, please visit the Wildlife Turst website here.