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Portuguese man o' war have been spotted along some ENC beaches

They look like bluish clear balloons, but Cape Lookout National Seashore officials say the creatures, with tentacles 30 feet or longer, can deliver a painful sting to anyone who touches it.
(Photo: 4Neus on Flickr via Creative Commons)
They look like bluish clear balloons, but Cape Lookout National Seashore officials say the creatures, with tentacles 30 feet or longer, can deliver a painful sting to anyone who touches it.

Pine Knoll Shores Fire & EMS are offering a common warning this time of year in eastern North Carolina – although it comes a little earlier than usual -- Portuguese man o' war have been spotted along the beach.

They look like clear, bluish balloons, but Cape Lookout National Seashore officials say the creatures, with tentacles 30 feet or longer, can deliver a painful sting to anyone who touches them.

Officials are telling people be cautious when walking the beach, fishing, or swimming and steer far clear of any Portuguese man o' war they encounter.

They can sting days after they die.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to eastern North Carolina in 2019 to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of kiddo cuddling, reading, and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.