Yikes! Hundreds of Portuguese man o’ war wash up on area beaches

Man o' war on Pleasure Island (Photo: Sally Petermann)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — If you’re hitting up area beaches anytime soon, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the sand. Hundreds of Portuguese man o’ wars have reportedly washed up from Wrightsville Beach down to Horry County beaches.

The National Weather Service has received multiple reports from lifeguards, including one report of a man o’ war with tentacles measuring 16 feet long. NWS said that’s actually on the short side, adult man o’ war tentacles are usually around 30 feet long.

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Multiple people in Carolina and Kure Beach have also reported seeing the jellyfish washed ashore.

While the man o’ war’s sting is rarely deadly to people, it packs a painful punch and causes welts on exposed skin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The man o’ war has a balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and rises up to six inches above the waterline.

The man o’ war may still sting you even weeks after having washed ashore.