1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Man-O-War Sting

Oh! Man-O-War this Looks Painful!


Updated August 24, 2010

Mon-o-War sting
(c) Simon Tonge
Technically, the man-o-war is not a jellyfish. It's a string of jellyfish-like creatures living together as one organism. It has a painful sting that can be dangerous. See how the sting is much wider than the tentacle marks from typical jellyfish? The man-o-war has longer, thicker tentacles that do its stinging.

South of the equator, these are often called bluebottles. In the United States, they are usually called man-o-war or Portuguese man-o-war.

Generally, treat stings from these creatures the same as you would those from other jellyfish species: Remove all tentacles from the sting site and rinse thoroughly, preferably with hot water. Watch for confusion, chest pain, and weakness. Always seek emergency medical treatment for these. Man-of-war stings can be very serious.

For jellyfish treatment steps (also good for man-o-war): How to Treat Jellyfish Stings.

Have a jellyfish or man-o-war sting? Take a picture and submit it here.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. First Aid

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.