Reports of Portuguese man-of-wars washing up on NC beaches popping up on social media

A Portuguese man-of-war (Wikipedia)

Reports of Portuguese man-of-wars washing up on beaches in southeastern North Carolina have been popping up on social media, but officials said they haven’t had any problems yet.

Star News Online reported that several posts on Facebook claim that the man-of-wars have been seen on several beaches in the area.

“Portuguese man o’ wars all along the coast yesterday. On every beach I hit up from North Topsail to Indian Beach, to Fort Macon and Emerald Isle,” according to one Facebook post.

An Oak Island beachgoer also posted another, reading, “They were all over the beach today, I saw several. They will hurt you!”

The paper spoke to officials in Brunswick County and Carolina Beach who both said they have not seen any issues.

The Portuguese man o’ war  is a marine cnidarian of the family Physaliidae. It has venomous tentacles that deliver a painful sting.

It is not a common jellyfish but a siphonophore, which is not actually a single multicellular organism, but a colony of specialized minute individuals called zooids.

The zooids are attached to one another and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.