Portuguese Man-of-War spotted on North Carolina, South Carolina beaches

WTVD logo
Thursday, May 28, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

South Carolina is warning beachgoers about Portuguese man-of-wars in the water.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Several Portuguese Man-of-War have been spotted off the coast of Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina and Myrtle and North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

In a tweet, NWS said a man-of-war with 16-foot tentacles washed ashore on North Myrtle Beach.

According to National Geographic, man-of-war are not actually jellyfish, but a collection of four animals known as polyps. Each polyp serves a different function, and all work together to feed and reproduce.

Man-of-war can have tentacles up to 165 feet long. Though their tentacles, which are covered in venom-filled cells called nematocysts, can cause a pretty painful sting, they are rarely deadly. However, National Geographic warns that even dead man-of-wars can still sting people.

Man-of-war can be found in groups of 1,000 or more. They move by floating on currents or catching the wind.

The footage used in this article is archived footage, stay tuned for an updated video.