Updated: August 3, 2021 3:20:23 am
THE VENOMOUS but beautiful Portuguese man o’ war, also called the bluebottle, has been sighted at the one of the famous beaches in the city — Juhu — over the past three days.
To educate people on how to avoid coming in contact with these marine species as well as measures to be taken in case of a sting, the mangrove cell and Marine Life of Mumbai (MLOM) — a group of marine enthusiasts — are putting up signboards at the beaches.
It is an annual phenomenon for the bluebottle to wash up on the shores during this season, as these deep-sea creatures are pushed by the monsoon winds. Some experts have said these creatures come to the shore because of the rising temperature of the seawater.
Onshore, they get stuck in the sand and return with the tide. Most, however, die on the shore. They have a transparent gas-filled bladder that helps them float along with tentacles.
The sting from a bluebottle causes a burning sensation in humans and tends to cause swelling with red rashes. While many get stung by stepping on it or by picking them up, experts suggest that the sting is more dangerous when a person is in the water.
On being stung, experts suggest pouring seawater on the affected area without rubbing it or washing the wound with warm water. Victims are advised to go to hospitals and not to pry the creatures.
A large number of bluebottles had washed ashore on several beaches in Mumbai in 2018, and over 150 people, including several children, ended up being stung at popular beaches like Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu and Aksa.
Shaunak Modi, director of Coastal Conservation Foundation, who documented the marine species on Juhu beach last week, tweeted, “Last few days of strong onshore winds have brought our yearly monsoon visitors back to our shores. Thousands of Portuguese man o’ war have been stranded at Juhu beach today.”
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