Portuguese men-of-war sightings on Cornish beaches

By | September 7, 2012
Portuguese man-of-war

Portuguese men-of-war have been washed up on beaches in Cornwall according to council officials.

There have been sightings of 13 men-of-war at Portheras Cove in west Cornwall and others at Summerleaze and Widemouth beaches in north Cornwall.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said sightings were on the increase.

The Portuguese man-of-war is not a jellyfish but is closely related, and consists of many tiny marine organisms behaving collectively as one animal.

The man-of-war can cause severe pain, and in rare cases, death. …

The MCS describes the men-of-war as a “Cornish pasty-shaped, transparent purple float with blue, tentacle-like ‘fishing polyps’ that hang below the float can be tens of meters in length”.

Dr Richardson said they “deliver an agonising and potentially lethal sting”.

“Because a stranded Portuguese man-of-war looks a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, it may attract the curiosity of children.”

The sightings come just days after swimmers and surfers were warned that Portuguese men-of-war had been spotted on the Irish coast.

via BBC News – Portuguese men-of-war sightings on Cornish beaches.

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