COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has issued a warning to beachgoers after recent reports of highly venomous sea creatures.
According to the DNR, a small number of Portuguese man-of-wars have been reported on the state’s beaches.
Officials say people should “steer clear of these highly venomous relatives of jellyfish both in the water and ashore.”
They add that even a dead man-of-war has a sting strong enough to require medical attention.
The department says that these creatures, typically residents of the open ocean, are actually four types of sea animals living together in a colony. They are occasionally pushed ashore by strong winds.
“Fortunately, the bright blue ‘float’ of a man-of-war makes them easy to recognize and avoid.” the DNR said.