Pariaman, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - At least a dozen of bluebottles or the Portuguese man o' war (Physalia utriculus) have been washed ashore by strong wind on several beaches in Pariaman city, West Sumatra Province for the last few days, Pariaman Mayor Genius Umar said here on Sunday.

Therefore, he prompted tourists and fishermen to remain vigilant of bluebottles, and avoid any physical contact with the species.

"Most locals had seen this kind of natural event before, so they have already had knowledge to stay away from the bluebottles," the major explained. However, since their appearance at the beach, several fishermen were stung by bluebottles, and as a result, they had to be treated at the hospital.

To prevent more victims, a local diving club at the city, Tabuik Diving Club (TDC), had picked around 50 bluebottles on the city's beaches.

"We found these bluebotles on the beach in Ampalu Village," the club chairman, Tomi Syamsuar, said. Apart from Ampalu, the bluebottles were also surged ashore on Cermin Beach and Gandoriah Beach, he added.

When people got stung by bluebottles, they would feel severe pain in the body-parts which were affected. An incorrect treatment to the sting may lead to the cardiac arrest, some lifesavers claimed. For some people, the bluebottle was part of jellyfish. However, marine expert had identified the species as siphonophore or a colonized polyps that have similarities with jellyfish, mainly in its morphology and anatomy.

The bluebottle's main features are its bright blue gas-filled sac or pneumatophore and the darker-blue tentacles. Main preys of the bluebottles are larval fish, small crustaceans and mollusks.

Not only Indonesia, the bluebottles are also found on Australia's beaches, mainly in summer.

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Translator: Altas Maulana/Genta Tenri Mawa
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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