Blue Bottle

  • It is found in both tropical and sub-tropical waters.
  • Other countries call them Portuguese-men-of-war.
  • Its body is a large blue-green, gas filled float, approximately 30 cms in diameter.
  • Blue tentacles approximately 10 m in length, trail from the body.
  • They are not single creatures, but consists of colonies of individual animals, each with its own function, be it catching prey or digesting food.
  • The tentacles contain stinging capsules, which they use to stun small sea animals.
  • Firstly, the prey is paralysed by the sting in the tentacles and secondly, the tentacles contract to bring the prey to the bluebottles body for consumption.
  • Their sting, whilst painful to humans is not fatal.

  1. Immediate and severe pain 
  2. Red line is visible on the skin, where stung by the tentacle
  3. Red line can have a raised, beaded appearance
  4. Area is swollen and itchy.
  5. Blisters may occur in severe circumstances, which may cause scarring.
  6. People with low tolerance may also suffer, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

  • Remove any remaining tentacles by washing area in sea water to dislodge them - (wear gloves to avoid being stung).
  • To relieve pain - immerse area where stung in hot water (45 degrees Celsius), for minimum 20 minutes, or alternatively use hot shower for same period of time on effected area.
  • If pain continues, or if there is blistering or itchiness at sting location, visit your local GP for a topical treatment to assist in reducing the inflammatory reaction.
  • In the absolute extreme, that the sting triggers an anaphylactic reaction, which can be life threatening, call 000 for immediate medical help.

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