Warning as dangerous creatures wash up on UK beaches

People are warned to avoid strange looking creatures that have washed up on British beaches.

Hikers have reported that Portugues Man O’War washed up on beaches in Cornwall.

While they look like jellyfish, they are actually a collection of different animals and their tentacles can deal a dangerous blow – even if the creatures are dead.

CornwallLive says a number of groups and individuals have reported sightings of the animals along the coast in the past few days.

Friends of Portheras group issued a warning that “Admire, but don’t touch, and report sightings to the Marine Conservation Society.”

Corresponding The Wildlife Trusts‘Portuguese Man O’ War ‘are rarely seen in the UK – but between September and December they are sometimes washed up on our shores after strong westerly winds.

A Wildlife Trust spokesman said, “First of all, the Portuguese Man O’War is not a jellyfish. It is a colonial hydrozoan made up of small individual animals called zooids – each with its own specific function, such as:

“They can’t live apart and function together as one ‘animal’. Cool, huh? The Portuguese Man O’War lives on the surface of the open ocean, held at the top by a gas-filled bubble structure that acts as a sail.

“They cannot swim and are at the mercy of the winds – which is why they are often washed ashore after major storms.

“They are fearsome predators that use their long, stinging tentacles to catch small fish and crustaceans.

“You have to watch out for these tentacles – they can sting long after the animal has died.”

The creature’s sting is painful, though rarely severe and only in a few extremely rare cases fatal.

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