A gnarly looking Portuguese man o’ war, a “potentially deadly” creature according to NBC, washed up on Harvey Cedars Beach in New Jersey and officials are expecting that more will follow in the weeks to come.
The carnivorous sea creature stuns its prey with its 10 to 30-foot-long tentacles. According to Associate Professor of Biology at Montclair State University Paul Bologna, “Their stings are among the most painful and if somebody is allergic to bee stings or something like that, you can go into shock.”
“They’re very, very dangerous, very painful sting,” Bologna told the Asbury Park Press. “In some cases, they can be life-threatening.”
Stings can result in “abdominal pain, changes in pulse, chest pain, collapse, headache, muscle pain and spasms, numbness and weakness, pain in the arms or legs, a raised red spot on the skin, runny nose and watery eyes, difficulty swallowing and sweating.”
Bologna could not recall any man o’ war sightings in New Jersey last year, and has no knowledge of someone in the area being stung by one recently. But, because it was likely pulled in from warmer waters, more may wash up on the Jersey shore in coming weeks.