The St. Johns County Fire Rescue (SJCFR) says they've seen an increase in man o' war on the beaches.
Max Ervanian with Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue says more than 25 people between the ages of 5 and 60 were stung by man o' war this weekend at Jacksonville Beach.
A 15-year-old boy had to be taken to the hospital as a precaution but was released a short time later, according to Ervanian. Some people were stung while swimming, others stung when they tried to pick up or touch the man o' war.
Ervanian said this is the first time in a long time he remembers this many people being stung. He says man o' war don’t swim; they travel with the current.
In a Facebook post Saturday, SJCFR said the increase in these creatures is due to the persistent onshore flow over the past few days.
But did you know?
For those who are unfamiliar with man o' war, they are not a type of jellyfish. Instead, they are considered to be siphonophores, which is actually a cluster of organisms that are floating so closely together they could not survive on their own! They have tentacles that can grow up to 160 feet long and can paralyze small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates. If any of its tentacles come into contact with your skin, it could cause an painful sting that can last up to two hours.
You can avoid being stung by, well, avoiding the Man O' Wars. Don't touch them, even on the top and even if they're dead.