South Carolina officials warn beachgoers of poisonous Portuguese men-of-war

Portuguese men o’ war were spotted on the northern end of the Beach, the Myrtle, the officials said.

(Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue)

If you visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, beware: the Portuguese men-of-war have been spotted along the coast, officials say.

In a Facebook post, the Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue warned beachgoers to avoid the creatures, as stepping on one or touches with his tentacles can deliver a sharp sting.

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, “a washed-up-man-of-war on the beach (even if it looks dried out) remains extremely toxic: it should be treated with respect and care should be taken to avoid touching the tentacles.”

“When you see these creatures lying on the beach please do not touch them. Inform the lifeguard service or any of our beach patrols and we will make sure that it is disposed of,” the Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue wrote, adding that some of the men-of-war have been spotted on the north end of the beach.

Despite the way it looks, a man-of-war is not a “true jellyfish,” South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said, nor is it an “animal”.

Instead, the sea creature is a colony of numerous organisms called polyps (or animals) who are so specialized that they cannot live without each other,” said the department.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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