Huwag nyo po lapitan pag nakita nyo ito sa beach!

Marami tayong mga magagandang beach sa Pilipinas. Philippines is home to the most beautiful beaches such as in Boracay and in El Nido which are truly world-class. Pero kahit gaano ka ganda ang isang tanawin, meron itong tinatagong hindi kanais-nais.

Summer na, and we see a many of our friends post photos on Facebook about their beach visits . Dapat maingat pa rin tayo kahit maganda ang nakikita natin sa beach. Just like the beautiful-looking creatures below. They are actually dangerous, can sometimes be deadly, as in literally deadly, it can lead one to his or her death.

Travelers, tourists and every beach bum out here. If you see something like this floating on water, do not approach it, and warn others about the danger that might fall on them.

It is called the “Portuguese man-of-war”. Weird name for a weird-looking but venomous creature. Its name was derived from an old Portuguese warship, and according National Geographic:

It gets its name from the uppermost polyp, a gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat resembles an old warship at full sail.

It has a resemblance of a jellyfish, and it stings like a jellyfish as well. But this is not a jellyfish, but a siphonophore. A siphonophore is a colony made up of zooids, an organism that are dependent to each other. Just like a warship, the soldiers, the captain, and everyone inside working together to achieve a goal. You can have further reading on this topic at Siphonophores.

The Portuguese man-of-war has tentacles that could grow as long as 165 feet or 50 meters. Yikes! Although, its average length is 30 feet, but still long. It would be a nightmare if you’re swimming in the sea surrounded by these.

Do not even touch the man-of-war even if they’re washed ashore. Even if it’s dead, they’re still as venomous as they’re alive.

Portuguese man-of-war live in warm waters, the countries living near the equator. That includes, the Philippines. So watch out Filipinos!

If you happen to get stung by these, do not put urine, it might get worse. Go immediately to the nearest clinic or hospital.

Photo sources from Flickr by Dave, Darlen Durr, and Towle N

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