A sea creature with a painful sting is washing up on Cork beaches.
The Indo-Pacific Man o’ War, otherwise known as, the ‘Bluebottle Jellyfish’ has been spotted on beaches in East Cork, popping up at Cuskinny, Cobh.
The jelly-like organism is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, however it is often referred to as a jellyfish.
The Bluebottles are smaller and less venomous than their Atlantic counterpart, the Portuguese Man o’ War, which can have a fatal sting.
Unlike the Portuguese Man o’ War, Bluebottle stings have yet to cause any human fatalities. However, a bluebottle sting still causes pain and swelling, and tentacles should be removed carefully with a tweezers.
The stinging cells in their tentacles are used to paralyze and capture prey and it can be difficult to spot the venomous siphonophore in the water as it has a translucent blue body.
The Bluebottle is found mostly along the south and west coasts as strong winds and currents can carry massive swarms which sometimes wash up on beaches.
It is important to note that Bluebottles can still sting victims even after they’re dead or washed up on a beach so take care if you spot one.
Cuskinny Court, a provider of a wide range of eco-adventure, educational and outdoor experiences, posted a warning and a video on social media after coming across a few specimens of the Bluebottle in Cobh.