A man had a very lucky escape after he filmed himself handling and even licking a ‘slimy’ creature he stumbled across on the beach – completely ignorant to the danger it posed.
The clip shows a sea animal washed up on the beach, with a transparent balloon-like float and blue colouring, as well as long strands of tentacles coming off the bottom.
TikTok user Alexa_reed2 says: “Look guys, a jellyfish is still here”, while prodding at it with his finger, commenting on how cold and slimy it is before adding: “I’m going to pick it up.”
He pinches it between his fingers and says: “This is how it looks like. Yes, it’s a jellyfish, look how big it is. And it’s still moving, oh my god, I’m going to lick it.”
But what he seemingly didn’t know was that the creature was actually a Portuguese Man O’ War, nicknamed the ‘floating terror’, which has been known to kill humans.
Although its rare for humans to be killed by the venom the animal uses to paralyse and kill prey, the sting can cause shocking welts on exposed skin, leaving victims in “excruciating pain” for days afterwards.
The post was replied to by Mndiaye_97, who shares informative videos about nature, and warned others not to copy what they had seen, saying: “This is why women live longer than men, s*** like this.
“That is not a jellyfish, it’s a Portuguese Man O’ War, also known as the bluebottle, also known as the floating terror.
“It’s a species of siphonophore armed with millions of explosive stinging cells powerful enough to make Nemo an orphan and occasionally turn a person into past tense.
“This Man O’ War is responsible for up to 10,000 stings a year in Australia alone and the venom can cause excruciating pain for up to three days, leaving a nasty, whip-like welt as a souvenir.
“But honestly, you’re lucky if that’s all you get because the venom can trigger an allergic-like reaction that results in throat-swelling, heart issues and difficulty breathing, as you suffocate, possibly to death.
“And fun fact, not only can they write your obituary days, even tentacles that have been separated from its body contain enough venom to incapacitate you.
“Getting stung by a Man O’ War is nowhere near a death sentence. Most of the time if treated quickly, it’s very survivable.
“But even though being put in a coffin by one is rare, the agonising pain that comes with it might make you wish it wasn’t.”
So it’s probably best just to stick to the golden rule of not going round licking unidentified sea creatures.