Portuguese fidget jellyfish

If you see this on the beach run as fast as you can, and if you are in the water get out immediately! it appears to be very colorful and gelatinous but it very dangerous. It is called Portuguese fidget jellyfish aka Portuguese Caravel, bad water, blue bottle or false jellyfish. 

It has a very colorful appearance that could look attractive but do not be fooled since its sting is very painful and dangerous.

It usually floats and is carried away with currents sometimes with herds of 1,000 or more individuals.  It is found especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and Atlantic ocean as well. However, the currents often take them to places where they do not normally inhabit.

This has alerted several countries because, without adequate information, visitors to the beaches could approach and suffer the consequences. And believe me, you do not want to be one of them.

But why is it so dangerous, you may ask?

They have really long tentacles of up to nine meters and can sometimes reach up to fifty meters.

 Because of their makeup, just being these floating bubbles that move with the current they have no control over their direction. Therefore, if they get stuck in the bathing area of the beach can stay there for days and cause havoc on the users of the beach.

Although they look like jellyfish they are not the same species although they are somewhat related. It is the only species in the genus Physalia, which is the only genus in the Physaliidae family.

Its sting is quite unpleasant and usually uses it to paralyze its prey this causes painful hives and in some extreme cases could cause death. Tentacles are sometimes severed from their bodies and will float around till it decomposes. Beware also, that even a severed tentacle can sting you.

It is dangerous even for those who do not enter the water. The complicated thing about the Portuguese frigate is that its venom remains on the beaches even days after they leave the area.

They have caused alertness on many beaches that have even closed for certain periods. Generally, you will find a warning on the beaches about the frigate indicating that you should not get into the water.

However, some beaches have been forced to remain closed for some time while allowing them to disappear from the shore.

What to do if you feel an itch, first of all, be sure to stay away from the frigates you see on the beach and for no reason touch them. A habit that people usually do when stung by a jellyfish as urinating on its sting,  but do not do it it could make things worse. Instead, use cold compresses to reduce swelling if it gets worse or shows allergic reactions go to a hospital immediately.


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