Vacationers beware: 'Extremely dangerous' pests spotted off GA coast, officials warn

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. — Georgia vacationers beware:

Officials are warning about a venomous pest spotted off the Georgia coast that can cause serious injuries to people who encounter them.

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The City of Tybee Island said they’ve gotten reports of Portuguese Man O’War washing up beaches in recent days.

Closely related to jellyfish, the creatures’ tentacles can cause painful, toxic stings that can lead to serious injuries, “whip-like” welts that can last for days and allergic reactions. In extreme cases, allergic reactions to a Man O’War sting can cause death.


“These creatures may look fascinating, but they can be extremely dangerous,” city officials said. “Even dead or washed-up Man O’ Wars can still sting, so please be cautious!”

Portuguese Man O’War are normally found in tropical and sub-tropical regions, but they can occasionally travel to temperate regions. According to Tybee officials, the often appear following days of offshore winds.

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One Facebook user described the sting as “the most intense electric shock over my entire body when it wrapped around my leg. My lower right leg itched and burned for three months. Scarring, worst thing ever.”

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