Monday, October 8, 2012

Man-of-War


We have seen quite a few Portuguese Man-of-War on the windward side of Oahu.  (None on the North Shore so far.)  Usually they are tiny; often they are washed up and dead; but occasionally we'll spot a live one in the water.  My husband took these photos of some he decided to catch in a pail.  (These are small, so not as dangerous as the bigger ones can be, but they still sting!)


They are seriously weird creatures--not jellyfish, but siphonophores.  A whole colony of organisms!


The tentacles contain venom-filled nematocysts, so stay away from the tentacles!


If you accidentally come in contact with one (like my son whose leg was stung by one that had washed ashore), rinse the area thoroughly with salt water.


Fascinating animals!

1 comment:

  1. Jellyfish are fascinating. It has always amazed me that such gentle creatures that seem almost like plants can cause fear and pain in humans. I remember encountering jellyfish floating on the waves along with me while body surfing as a teen in California. Later as an adult in Mexico I was stung numerous times by tentacles of very small jellyfish that I had not noticed until too late.

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