Warning that deadly jellyfish with tentacles as long as 5 London buses are heading to these shores
Warning that deadly jellyfish with tentacles as long as FIVE London buses are heading to these shores
The Portuguese man o' war can grow tentacles up to 160ft in length and is increasingly reaching British beaches
Fears are growing Britain’s warm weather could bring with it swarms of deadly jellyfish capable of growing tentacles as long as five London buses.
The Portuguese man o’ war, usually found in the vast Atlantic Ocean, has an extremely powerful sting and on rare occasions can kill.
Increasing numbers of the deadly Portuguese man o’ war are reaching British shores
The jellyfish’s tentacles can extend as far as 160ft – the length of five London buses
Experts believe it is among a number of jellyfish species now heading towards British shores.
Dr Peter Richardson, from the Marine Conservation Society, said: “Our national jellyfish survey suggests significant recent rises in the numbers of some jellyfish species in UK seas, most notably the barrel jelly fish.
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“The million-dollar question is why this is happening? At the moment we just don’t know.”
The numbers of jellyfish reaching British shores has increased in recent years, meaning contact with the deadly creature is more likely.
Bizarrely, the Portuguese man o’ war is carnivorous – it uses its venom to paralyse small fish and then devours them.
Incredibly, its tentacles have been known to reach 160ft in length – equalling the length of five London buses.
Last summer there were at least 30 sightings of the deadly jellyfish in Cornwall and Devon
These tentacles can even detach and float for several days while remaining venomous.
At least 30 sightings of the Portuguese man o’war were reported in Devon and Cornwall last summer.
In 2010, Maria Furcas died after being stung on the leg by the creature while swimming at a resort in Sardinia.
Paramedics were unable to save her after she told a lifeguard she had been stung and then collapsed from anaphylactic shock.