Police issue warning about Portuguese man-of-wars

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The Portuguese man-o-war's tentacles pose a risk to swimmers and beach goers. — Photo courtesy of PlanktonPortal

The Edgartown Police sent out a text alert and tweet Thursday warning that Portuguese man-of-wars have been spotted at State Beach and Bend in the Road. “Please stay away from them if you see one,” police wrote.

This is the second reported sighting of the purplish creatures at the Island’s beaches in recent days.

The jellyfish-like creatures pack a powerful, venomous sting that can cause a welt or abrasion on the skin. They are actually a collection of polyps, according to National Geographic’s website. They are 12 inches long, five inches wide, and can sport tentacles that stretch 165 feet, according to National Geographic.

Earlier this summer, Portuguese man-of-wars were reported at Cape beaches, according to the Cape Cod Times.