As the holidays approach, residents who plan to make a trip to the beach are encouraged to be on the lookout for the Pacific Man O’ War on all beaches.
Identified by a floating blue bubble and blue tentacles up to six feet or more in length, the jellyfish-like Man O’ War can deliver a painful sting to those who come in contact with it. These animals are passive and can be found floating in the water or washed onshore.
According to Biologist Brent Tibbatts, the Man O’ War can usually be seen around this time of the year.
“What comes in between November and February are the Man O’ War, which are not jellyfish, but similar to. But those come in especially when the weather turns and we get winds from the north and the east,” Tibbatts said.
In addition, Tibbatts said that box jellyfish — which typically come 9 days after a full moon — may be seen in Guam waters from Dec. 21 to 23.
If you are stung by either of these animals, try to remove any stray tentacles with a stick, rinse the affected area with vinegar, and take a painkiller. For symptoms such as difficulty breathing, please seek immediate medical attention.
Residents who see any Man O’ War or box jellyfish are urged to report them to the Guam Department of Agriculture at 735-0289.