Portuguese man o’ war have returned to Galveston beaches – Houston Chronicle

Dana Burke, 

Dec. 30, 2021Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 11:14 a.m.

If you’re planning to have a beachy New Year’s Eve (and who could blame you with temperatures that will reach 80 again), you might want to avoid walking barefoot in the Galveston sand. 

Bright blue Portuguese man o’ war have been spotted washing up on beaches this week, and while they look beautiful sparkling in the sun, they pack a horribly painful sting that could leave you suffering your way into 2022. 

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The man o’ war is not uncommon in Galveston. The Island Beach Patrol, which keeps up with such dangers, reports seeing the creatures a few times a year. 

Although they look similar to jellyfish and are often referred to as such, the Portuguese man o’ war is not a jellyfish. It’s a siphonophore, a colony made up of many genetically identical animals, which combine to perform special functions, like floating via a gas-filled bubble or stinging the you-know-what out of a human. 

So, if you see one this weekend, enjoy the beautiful colors, try out the portrait mode on that cell phone you got for Christmas, but be sure not to touch. 

Dana Burke is an editor for the Houston team of producers and the Houston Chronicle’s trending team. She came to the Chronicle as a features and lifestyle producer in 2012. Previously, Dana was an editor for Houston Community Newspapers, a group of weekly papers in the Houston area.

Source: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/trending/article/Portuguese-man-o-war-have-returned-to-Galveston-16738566.php

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