Portuguese man o’ war was found washed ashore on South Beach Thursday morning. The Edgartown Parks Department reported the discovery in a Facebook post warning beachgoers to be wary of the creatures, although it did not say how many were found.
The Portuguese man o’ war is an animal closely related to the jellyfish. The main part of these siphonophores to watch out for are their tentacles that can sting people weeks after being washed ashore, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency. Stings from a Portuguese man o’ war can have varying degrees of severity, according to Fairview Health Services. Stings usually leave behind long, stringy welts on the skin that can last from minutes to hours with local pain, burning, swelling, and redness. The rash may come and go for around six weeks. In more severe cases, cramps, fever, sweating, weakness, faintness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may accompany the aforementioned symptoms, which require treatment from a hospital.
Portuguese man o’ wars were also reported South Beach earlier this summer in June.