Florida Beaches Invaded By Portuguese Men-of-War

Warm waters around Florida have resulted in a growth of the population of Portuguese Man-of-War, or should that be Portuguese Men-of-War, an organism commonly confused with jellyfish (because they look just like jellyfish).

The PMOWs have a sting, roughly equivalent in pain level to a bee sting, and best treated at such. Do not urinate on your PMOW sting (save your urine for an actual jellyfish sting).

There are reports of many PMOWs washing up, with numerous swimmers suffering stings. The stinging tentacles, even after they fall off, are a hazard, and barefoot beachcombers can accidentally step on them. Many Florida beaches have warnings in effect.

Sea Surface temperatures in florida are high:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.43.36 AM

And relatively high compared to historical data (images from Google Map with Climate Reanalyzer overlays):

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.46.34 AM

Photograph above by Julia Laden, taken this morning.

More like this

Bluebottle jellyfish, Physalia utriculus Also known as the Portuguese Man O' War. It is not a true jellyfish. It appears that jellyfish numbers are increasing in various oceans of the world. This includes a recent increase in giant Nomura's jellyfish in Japan, rafts of jellyfish that swamped…
Our recent coverage of the Cracked story "The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World" made reference to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, something we felt the need to explore further. Apparently Dr. Justin O Schmidt, an entomologist recently retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Tucson Carl…
The pretty creatures pictured here look like anemones, but they are not true anemones. They are Cerianthids, commonly referred to as 'tube anemones', which are taxonomically quite distinct from true anemones. Cerianthids and true anemones do belong to the same phylum, Cnidaria, and the same class…
Harvey the Invisible Rabbit: Did not exist. This is a picture of some men. Since they are men, they have some abilities. They can, for example, knock each other over, and they can play with balls. This is what men do, and this is what these men can do. This is a picture of some professional NFL…

I read that Man-of-war fish have stinging cells that are still active and capable of stinging even after the creature is dead. Makes these things dangerous even after they wash up on shore.

By Sandy Saltwater (not verified) on 11 May 2017 #permalink