Scores of poisonous Portuguese man-of-wars have washed up on beaches in the Hamptons in recent weeks, prompting concerns about swimming among those who plan to spend the July Fourth holiday weekend on the East End, according to a published report.
None of the large, jellyfish-like stingers were seen alive in the ocean, though, Newsday reported. Officials said that while swimmers should always be aware of their surroundings while in the water, they do not anticipate any significant problems because of the man-of-wars.
Portuguese man-of-wars can be up to 10 inches in diameter and use their venomous tentacles to capture their daily diets of small fish and plankton. Their large, purplish bodies float on the surface of the water, so they're fairly easy to spot for swimmers who are on the lookout for them.
The creatures are most commonly seen in warm tropical or subtropical waters and far out in the ocean, according to Newsday, but warm currents and winds out of the southwest can lure them closer to northeast waters.