Envisioning the most dangerous creature on Earth might leave you picturing a beast with sharp fangs, narrowed eyes and frightening claws. However, this isn’t always the case. Mother Nature can throw us some curveballs too, it seems.
Recently, a man enjoying a walk on the beach in Brazil came upon an odd sight. Initially, he assumed it was a piece of trash left on the beach by some littering visitor. But when he bent down closer to get a better look, he realized it was something much more sinister.
A man in Olivenca, Bahia, Brazil found this bizarre object on the beach.
At first he thought it was a piece of trash. That is, until it started moving.
So, what was it?
It’s a creature called the ‘Portuguese Man-O-War,’ known for its very painful sting. When it strikes, it can be extremely deadly.
Despite what it looks like, the Portuguese man-of-war is not a jellyfish at all.
It is part of the siphonophores family of creatures made up of smaller creatures. In this regard, it’s a lot like a coral reef!
The Portuguese man-o-war tentacles can reach up to 165 feet long. That’s longer than the entire length of a blue whale’s body!
Most of the attacks that result in death are due to stung swimmers panicking and drowning on the way back to shore. If you stay calm, you can survive a run-in with the Portuguese man-o-war.
This creature’s name comes from the way it looks when its body is fully inflated; it’s reminiscent of a Portuguese war vessel.
Portuguese man-o-war do not truly “swim” in the way we think of swimming. Despite living in the ocean, the only float by relying on the current and ocean breezes to move them from place to place.
The sting from the Portuguese man-o-war is simply vicious.
Many people don’t realize how easy it is to get stuck in this creature’s tentacles. When the tentacles wrap around a swimmer’s body, it can take a lot to break the man-o-war’s tangled grip.
As beautiful as this sea creature is, it commands respect. You can’t be an ignorant swimmer around one of these bad boys, or you’ll get burned, literally.
The Portuguese man-o-war is easy to miss on the beach if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so keep your eyes open and watch your step!
Could you imagine going out for a swim and seeing this thing next to you?
As dangerous as they are, they’re weirdly beautiful, too. Take a look up close!
There’s really no limit to nature’s imagination is there? Just keep an eye out next time you’re at the beach!