Highly venomous man-of-wars washing up on SC beaches

Portuguese man-of-war (Source: SCDNR/SERTC)

(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources is warning beachgoers about an ocean threat washing up around shore.

The DNR said a small number of Portuguese man-of-wars have recently been reported on the state's beaches.

A cousin of the jellyfish, Portuguese man-of-wars are highly venomous and cause extreme harm to those it comes in contact with.

"Even a dead man-of-war has a sting strong enough to sometimes require medical attention," DNR officials said on Facebook.

This sea creature isn't just one animal, but rather four types of creatures living together in a colony, according to researchers. Normally man-of-wars exist in the open ocean, but are occasionally pushed ashore.

The good news is they are easy to spot.

"The bright blue 'float' of a man-of-war makes them easy to recognize and avoid."

So if you're headed to the beach this summer season, be sure to stay clear.