Attention, bathers! DANGEROUS animal is seen on the Brazilian coast; know how to protect yourself

In recent weeks, bathers on the beaches of Caraguatatuba, on the coast of São Pauloand in Capão da Canoa, in Rio Grande do Sul, they were surprised by the presence of Portuguese caravelsaquatic creatures known for their bluish coloring and intriguing appearance, especially to curious children.

However, behind its eye-catching appearance, there are health dangers that require caution.

Scientifically classified as cnidarians, Portuguese caravels are related to corals, sea anemones, gorgonians, hydroids and jellyfish, inhabiting the seas around the world.

These organisms feed on crustaceans and fish, ranging in size from about 1 cm to over 25 cm in length.

In the case of Brazil, its presence on national beaches is often associated with different climate conditions from the country.

Discover a little more about the life of Portuguese caravels and the danger they can pose to swimmers.

Portuguese caravels and their hidden risks

Equipped with stinging cells called cnidae, especially concentrated in their tentacles, Portuguese caravels represent a serious threat to swimmers.

This is because their cnidas have microneedles or harpoons that release toxinsused to capture food or in defense.

Contact with these creatures can result in chemical burns, intense itching and, in rarer cases, even death.

Although they do not attack people on beaches, these toxins that caravels release in case of physical contact cause significant discomfort.

See what Portuguese caravels are like:

Portuguese man-of-war in beach sand – Image: Personal Archive/Beatriz Torres

What to do if you come into contact with a Portuguese man-of-war?

In case of contact with the animal, it is advisable to wash the affected area with sea water or vinegar to avoid releasing more toxins.

Gently removing the tentacles and applying cold compresses to relieve pain are essential measures, without resorting to ‘folk’ methods such as urine or toothpaste.

It is crucial to avoid contact with dead man-of-war in the sand, as they can still release toxins. You symptoms Common symptoms after a burn include redness, edema, intense pain, nausea, dizziness and respiratory changes.

If symptoms persist, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention.

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In this context, dermatologists recommend ointments for burns, anti-inflammatories and local and oral hydration as part of the treatment, which can take months for the affected skin to completely recover.

Given these risks, it is important for swimmers to be alert and avoid direct contact with these fascinating, but dangerous, sea ​​creatures.