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'They're pretty but can hurt you' | Portuguese man o' war appearing in Galveston in 'above average' numbers

They're not jellyfish but can also sting you for up to two weeks after washing ashore.

GALVESTON, Texas — Aquamarine-colored marine creatures are washing up all along Galveston’s beaches.

"It’s like a little bubble kind of in a way,” said one visitor.

They make alien-like movements amid the rolling surf.

"It’s nice to see how vibrant the purples and blues are,” said another visitor.

Siblings George and Barbara Kunz told us they've never seen anything like it in their native Buffalo, New York.

“I was just walking along and they’re just like all over the place,” said George Kunz.

Darren Huang of Ohio picked one up using a shell not knowing what it was.

"I’ve never seen an animal, or whatever this is, this color,” said Huang.

The Galveston Island Beach Patrol said they're not jellyfish.

"It’s a Portuguese man o' war,” said supervisor Micah Fowler.

The Beach Patrol is reporting an above-average number coming ashore right now.

"If you look in the seaweed on the beach, you’ll see them kind of hidden in between you know the leafage and driftwood and everything,” said Fowler.

Texas Parks & Wildlife says Portuguese man o war feature gas-filled bubbles or floats and prey on small fish.

They normally wash up during the late spring or summer.

Like jellyfish, their toxic tentacles can sting you and produce burning welts that generally pass without medical attention unless you have an allergic reaction.

"They can still sting you up to two weeks after they come onshore so we advise everyone not to touch them, don’t let kids play with them," said Fowler. "Just leave them alone until they dry up on their own. They're pretty but can hurt you."

They're a curiosity from which you should definitely socially distance.

“I think they’re pretty cool, but you said they sting and I’m here with kids," said visitor Deborah Iodele. "So I’m not trying to go too close.”

Click here for more information on how to avoid man o war and what to do if you get stung.

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