Hundreds of Carolina beachgoers have now been hospitalized since waves of dangerous ‘jellyfish-like’ creatures began washing ashore.
The infestation started earlier this week, causing the City of Folly Beach to post an urgent warning on their Facebook page about the attacks;
As the week progressed, more and more creatures washed onto beaches and were spotted floating in shallow waters.
Yesterday, many Carolina beaches started flying the ‘purple flag’, warning beachgoers to stay away;
If you’re heading the beach heads up – another person was just stung Portuguese Man O War on Folly Beach. The purple flag is also flying… meaning sea pests are present. #chsnews pic.twitter.com/T86xdNrYJq
— Kolbie Satterfield (@KolbieLive5) August 11, 2018
Biologists at the SC Aquarium say that high winds in the Atlantic Ocean have pushed waves of Portuguese man o’ war to the Carolina coast.
According to National Geographic, “The tentacles contain batteries of cells that house miniscule, hollow harpoons called nematocysts. Those barbed harpoons act like hypodermic needles, enabling the man-of-war to inject a potent mix of venom into a victim.
If you’re planning on visiting a Carolina beach over the next few weeks, officials are now advising beachgoers to carry jellyfish sting ointment with them in case of stings.
If you spot a Man ‘O War jellyfish, please contact the lifeguard or local police.