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SC Warns Of Portuguese Man O' War Sightings

Portuguese Man O' War

CHARLESTON, S.C. - South Carolina is warning beachgoers to beware after a small number of Portuguese Man O' War has been sighted.

News outlets report the state Department of Natural Resources say people should avoid making contact with the highly venomous creatures — even if they're dead. Experts say a dead Man O' War can create a sting strong enough to require medical attention.

Authorities say the sting to humans is excruciatingly painful but rarely deadly.

The creatures, which are marine hydrozoans and relatives of jellyfish, have recently been spotted on Sullivan's Island and in Hilton Head.

The DNR says the man o' wars are pushed ashore by strong winds and have recently washed onto beaches from Florida to North Carolina.

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Photo Credit: Yorkiebrit [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons