Anyone with extra cash this summer who actually has money aside to go on a vacation (yeah! things are REALLY expensive nowadays) please keep your eyes open! There’s a beautiful purple thing that can be washed ashore on a beach that you should not touch, and no…. you also shouldn’t lick it too! An influencer thought that it might be a great idea to lick these venomous “cute” things.
As beautiful, purple and exotic as the Portuguese man-of-war may appear, it can be life threatening risk to human health and wellness. The sea creatures look like pretty blue or purple tinted bubbles floating on the surface of the water, and have long, dark purple tentacles hanging down off them. The tentacles are the “weapon” of the Portuguese man-of-war and that’s what makes them so hazardous because they’re full of venom and highly capable of delivering a very nasty and painful sting. They should be avoided whether found in the water or on the beach because even days after being washed up on shore they can still sting, no matter how long dead they may appear to be.
A painful sting from these seemingly cute things can cause number of things including cardiac distress, fever, shock, painful red welts, an allergic reaction that can lead to troubled breathing, paralysis and in worst case scenario, death, which is extremely rare. If by any chance you are stung by one, don’t pee on the area! Seek for professional medical treatment. Peeing can actually make it worse. Instead, use a cold compress to help relieve the swelling and pain.
The accompanying New Jersey TV news clip covers more interesting facts and information on the Portuguese man-of-war and what scientists, beach patrols, and lifeguards are doing about them.