Deadly Man-of-Wars Flood New Jersey Beaches

Watch out, beach bums! Those looking for a little fun in the sun might want to avoid New Jersey beaches, at least for a while. More than two dozen dangerous Portuguese man-of-wars have washed ashore in the Harvey Cedars area.

These organisms look like jellyfish and pack a heck of a punch. Their tentacles can reach out 165 feet and are covered in venom. While a sting from one won’t typically kill you, it will hurt a great deal. Symptoms from a sting include muscle weakness or pain, joint issues, respiratory problems and confusion. For children, the elderly or those in less-than-ideal health, the effects of a sting can be more serious.

The appearance of Portuguese man-of-wars on land caps a summer season that has been particularly hazardous for East coast beach-goers says Dr. Daniel Amen. The number of shark attacks are up this year, with six occurring in the Carolinas in June alone. No one is sure why shark attacks have increased, but the man-of-wars are likely here because of the Gulf Stream current.