Beachgoers, beware! Portuguese man o’ wars reported at Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Officials are warning beachgoers after multiple Portuguese man o’ wars have been reported at Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue posted on Facebook Thursday that the creatures have been popping up on the north side of Myrtle Beach.

The post read, “As the city reported earlier this week we have had reports of Man-O- Wars on our shores. This Man-O-War washed up on our shores on the north end of the beach. If you see these creatures lying on the beach please do not touch them. Please inform the lifeguard services or one of our beach patrols and we will make sure that it gets disposed of properly. As always be aware of your surroundings at the beach and stay safe out there!”

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.