Portuguese Man o'War

The Portuguese man o’ war is a highly venomous ocean dweller that resembles a jellyfish but is actually a siphonophore. A siphonophore is not a single animal but a complex colony of individual organisms working together to survive. In this case, the man o’ war is made up of an inflated bell that allows it to float along the sea’s surface, long tentacles covered in stinging cells, a digestive system, and a simple reproductive system. The entire Portuguese man o’ war takes on a bluish-purple hue, keeping it well camouflaged while at sea.

Portuguese man o’ war do not swim but use wind and ocean currents to move about. At times they can congregate in groups of 1,000 or more and are prone to washing up on shore after large storms. The Portuguese man o’ war is common in the tropics, so take caution when diving as they do sting. They are a favorite food of loggerhead sea turtles, so be on the lookout for loggerhead sightings when man o’ war are present. Check out the dive site map below to see where you can go diving with Portuguese man o’ war.