Volusia beachgoers: Watch out for man o' war

Portuguese man-of-war. Image from Oceana.org.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Rip-current conditions are causing man o' war to wash up along Volusia County beaches, according to county Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue officials.

Beachgoers are advised to look out for the clear and purple gel-like creatures along the beach this weekend, which have tentacles that aren't deadly, but can sting and leave welts, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Portuguese man o' war can be mistaken for jellyfish but are actually a separate species of siphonophore closely related to jellyfish, according to NOAA's National Ocean Service.

Man o’ war are not one creature but a colony all working together as one. The violet, blue and pink blobs don’t swim but are carried by the ocean’s currents.

Lifeguards will continue to fly a single red flag warning swimmers of hazardous conditions and a purple flag for man o' war.

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