Portuguese man-of-war spotted along Emerald Isle shoreline

Portuguese man-of-war spotted along Emerald Isle shoreline (Emerald Isle Police Department)

Portuguese man-of-war were spotted by Emerald Isle Police officers on Wednesday.

The department issued the warning on their Facebook page saying several were seen laying in the sand along the beach strand.

North Carolina is home to a dozen or so species of jellyfish. While it may be easy to classify man-of-war as jellyfish, it's actually a siphonophore, according to National Geographic. The man-of-war is distinct due to its painful sting.

According to experts, the siphonophore is actually a colony of several different animals. The sail is one group of animal. The tentacles are another. And the digestive part and the reproductive organs are all different animals that work in unison to function.

The Emerald Isle Police Department said when you're walking out on the beach, do not touch or step on these creatures. They can still hurt you even if they are dead.

If you get stung, experts say you should seek medical attention immediately.

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