- Created on Thursday, 07 March 2013 20:26
A number of Portuguese Man O’Wars, a species resembling a jellyfish, and oddly not usually seen anywhere near the Portuguese coastline, have been spotted since Wednesday on beaches in the Portimão area.
Usually found in the tropics, this beastie delivers a sting from its tentacles that is extremely painful but no recent instances of painful encounters have been recorded.
The Captain of the Port of Portimão, Commander Santos Pereira, is not one to over-react. He said today that he had been informed of the presence of these animals in the waters of the Algarve coast on Wednesday, but the number is low and most are being washed ashore at high tide, dead.
"They are also very small specimens, only five centimeters," sniffed Pereira. Adult specimens can reach 30 centimeters across and their tentacles stretch for many metres.
The appearance of this none-the-less worrying creature may be related to the southwest winds that have been sweeping the coast recently combined with warm water currents.
The Portuguese Man O’War feeds on fish that get trapped and immobilised in its tentacles. Humans will suffer pain and maybe shock. Treatment is needed as there are cases where people have died from these stings.