BENIDORM beaches were closed for a time this morning after Portuguese Man O’ War ‘jellyfish’ were spotted off the coast.
The Portuguese man o’ war is a highly venomous predator, rarely seen off of the Costa Blanca, in the Mediterranean sea.
Resembling a jellyfish, each man o’ war is actually a colony of several small individual organisms, which are so closely intertwined that they cannot survive alone.
They are covered in venom-filled barbs which are used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly.
But beware—even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a sting.
Initially, the authorities banned all swimming, posting red flags on both Levante and Poniente beaches, but lowered this to the warning yellow flag, after a boat search failed to spot any more.