Man O' War spotted on Dorset's beaches

Man O' War spotted on Dorset's beaches

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:23am 14th January 2020.

Six Portuguese Man O' War were found washed up on beaches in Dorset at the weekend.

The jelly fish type creatures have a nasty sting if touched.

They are normally found in the open Atlantic, but its thought strong south westerly winds have brought them to Dorset.

Sally Welbourn from Dorset Wildlife Trust said:

"Due to the rough weather and high winds we've been experiencing we fully expect there to be marine wildlife washed up on the beach as a result.

"Their [Man O' War jellyfish] tentacles are adapted to capture their prey.

"If you see one, do not touch it - they can cause a painful sting even when dead."

Portuguese Man O War at Chesil

'Fact File'

These creatures are not true jellyfish but floating colonies formed by coral-like hydroids which together create the bubble-like float and long, venom-filled stinging tentacles that can reach 10 – 30m long.

The gas-filled iridescent float can angle itself to catch the wind on the sea’s surface and can measure up to 30cm long, although those found recently have been much smaller.