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Portuguese men-of-war discovered on Isle of Wight beach

Wed 10 Oct 2012

Portuguese men-of-war discovered on Isle of Wight beach

An Isle of Wight beach is the location where Portuguese men-of-war have been found.

Dick Downes, from Atherfield Point, discovered the creatures, which are like jellyfish, during a walk along Chale Bay on the Isle of Wight.

Speaking to BBC News, he revealed he is planning to put them on display at a local business, although the pair sadly died.

This may lead to a rise in the number of wildlife enthusiasts booking Isle of Wight holidays in the coming weeks and months and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency says anyone who sees one of the creatures ought to get in touch with the organisation.

They should not be touched as they have a dangerous sting, while there have also been a number of recent sightings along the coast in nearby West Sussex.

"I was out combing for fossils and had some large shopping bags on me. I made sure I was careful not to touch the tentacles. One had already had its tentacles chopped off.," Mr Downes was quoted as saying by the news provider.

He added he was aware of the dangers of the Portuguese men-of-war as he has come across them many times before on his travels fishing all over the world.

Mr Downes noted a lot of the creatures appeared on the Isle of Wight a few years ago, although they are usually to be found much further north in the UK.

The sting from the Portuguese men-of-war can be very dangerous to humans and it is even fatal in some rare circumstances, so those who spot one of the creatures need to be very careful.

According to the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Centre in the US, Portuguese men-of-war are a spectacular sight and rather than being like a jellyfish, they are a colony of numerous organisms called polyps.

Posted by Carla WinterADNFCR-3083-ID-801467092-ADNFCR

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