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Portuguese Man o' War

Physalia physalis


These Portuguese Man o' War were spotted on the Daimari Beach in Aruba in the early AM hours. Just stranded on the beach.


The Man o' War is found in warm water seas floating on the surface of open ocean, its air bladder keeping it afloat and acting as a sail while the rest of the organism hangs below the surface. It has no means of self-propulsion and is entirely dependent on winds, currents, and tides. It is most common in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Indian oceans, but can drift outside of this range on warm currents such as the Atlantic Gulf Stream.


The Portuguese Man o' War (Physalia physalis), also known as the Portuguese man-of-war, man-of-war, or bluebottle, is a jelly-like marine invertebrate of the family Physaliidae. The name "man-of-war" is borrowed from the man-of-war, a 16th century English armed sailing ship which was based on an earlier Portuguese vessel. Despite its outward appearance, the Man o' War is not a true jellyfish but a siphonophore, which differ from jellyfish in that they are not actually a single creature, but a colonial organism made up of many minute individuals called zooids.[1] Each of these zooids is highly-specialized and, although structurally similar to other solitary animals, are attached to each other and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.

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Pochempie 11 years ago

Nice spotting!

SheaEckert 12 years ago

Hundreds?! Fantastic.

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 12 years ago

Had read about them in high school biology. Thanks for the picture.

KarenL 12 years ago


JillyEnFuego 12 years ago

We get hundreds of them sometimes, just lining the beaches. They are sooooo beautiful and yet sooooo danegrous! Awesome pics!

SusanEllison 12 years ago

I have never heard of great education!

SheaEckert 12 years ago

I don't know why, but Man-of-Wars' have always been one of my favorite creatures on the planet! Great spotting!

Spotted by


Spotted on Jul 29, 2011
Submitted on Aug 18, 2011

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