Portuguese Man O’ War – Looks Pretty but Don’t Touch!

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This Portuguese Man O’ War arrived on the beach of St Jos Island in Texas while I was walking along taking photos of the collection of things washed up on shore. The Portuguese Man of War was by far the most interesting and colorful item on display at the beach. Also known as a blue bottle, I didn’t know much else about these marvelous creatures. But I did know that you do NOT want to touch a Portuguese Man of War! Since it looks like a jellyfish, I knew for certain not to let any part of the tentacles contact my skin.

If you visit Port Aransas and decide to do the boat trip over to Sant Jose Island (St Jos) be careful, especially if you are traveling with kids. And watch where you step on the beach, this man of war appeared on the beach just before I turned around to walk back to the dock. It definitely wasn’t there on my way down the beach!

 

Portuguese Man 'O War on the Texas Gulf Coast - beachcombing St Jos Island by Port Aransas

Portuguese Man of War on the Texas Gulf Coast – beachcombing at St Jos Island by Port Aransas

 

It’s about time I learned more about these amazing and colorful sea creatures. The thing is, when you do see one you kind of want to touch it. But just don’t do!

Even if the thing is dead the tentacles can still cause serious harm for up to a few days afterwards.

Every once in a while a bunch of the man of war (what is the plural form – men of war? man of wars?) wash up on the shores of the Texas Gulf coast.

In February 2019 several Portuguese Man of War washed up on South Padre Island beaches. Check out this Facebook post from Padre Island National Seashore:

 

 

Portuguese Man-O'-War (blue bottle) on the beach of St Jos Island in Texas

Portuguese Man-O’-War (blue bottle) on the beach of St Jos Island in Texas

 

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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