Pretty, but nasty!


Croydon Park, Australia

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  • Artwork Comments 12

Wall Art


Artist's Description

Bluebottle (Portuguese man of war) washed up on the beach …….. common sight here in Australia, but not something to pick up for the following reasons:

Bluebottle tentacles will cause a sharp, painful sting if they are touched, which is aggravated by rubbing the area. Intense pain may be felt from a few minutes to many hours and develops into a dull ache which then spreads to surrounding joints. The affected area develops a red line with small white lesions. In severe cases blisters and weals looking like a string of beads may appear. Victims may exhibit signs of shock. Children, asthmatics and people with allergies can be badly affected and many cases of respiratory distress have been reported in Australia.

If stinging occurs, leave the water immediately. If any part of the animal is still sticking to the skin, it should be gently lifted off with tweezers or a gloved hand. This will minimise the firing of more stinging capsules. Do not rub the area with wet sand or towel, or wash with alcohol as this will only make it worse. For milder stings, ice packs or local anaesthetic sprays are often effective in reducing pain. In extreme cases resuscitation may be needed and medical attention should be sought.

Bluebottles are not always obvious in the water. Tentacles may break away from the colony in the surf and inflict stings just as potent as those from attached tentacles. Even dead specimens stranded on the beach can still cause stings. To avoid being stung do not touch these animals with bare skin and do not enter the water if they are present. Bluebottles are more common on exposed ocean beaches after strong onshore winds and are rarely found in sheltered waters.

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beach creatures sea

Artwork Comments

  • Klikklak
  • Lars
  • LenitaB
  • Marilyn Harris
  • Larry149
  • LenitaB
  • Jonicool
  • LenitaB
  • Maximus
  • LenitaB
  • Stephen Gregory
  • LenitaB
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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