Fearsome ocean predators lurking UK beaches as Brits warned touch could kill

A "fearsome" ocean predator with the ability to kill is heading to UK shores, with some of the horror sea creatures already washing up on beaches.

With a sting that can be fatal to humans due to the poison found in their powerful sting, the Portuguese man o'war has been spotted on UK shores.

Family holiday hotspots in Devon confirmed the presence of the killer organism, which carries a poison used to paralyse and kill small fish.

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The creatures are covered in venomous nematocysts, strong enough to kill fish and seriously harm dogs and people.

A handful of sightings of the dangerous animal on Wembury beach in Plymouth and Seaton beach were confirmed.

The Wembury Marine Centre group say locals had taken photographs of the ocean-going killers and warned people they must be careful "not to touch" the washed-up animals.

Even after death, the poison and sting of the Portuguese man o'war can continue on, with the "fearsome predators" a real danger.

The Wildlife Trusts said: "They are fearsome predators, catching small fish and crustaceans with their long stinging tentacles. It's these tentacles that you need to watch out for too – they can sting long after the animal has died."

An expert speaking to the Daily Star has warned people not to touch the organisms no matter how tempted they may be.

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Steve Hussey of the Devon Wildlife Trust said: "They can give a powerful sting. They use this to capture and subdue their prey which includes small fish and other marine creatures.

"They can't swim or propel themselves and instead just drift with currents. Sometimes this means they come into our inshore waters and get stranded on our beaches.

"If people see one then they should admire it – they really are beautiful – but don't be tempted to touch. Portuguese man o'war can sting either in the water or if they are found on a beach."

The deadly organism was spotted on the Isle of Wight back in April.

Mum Helen Beale had stumbled across the "Floating Terror" while fossil hunting with her daughter, describing the deadly beast as "really unusual and alien-like".

She said: "It just looked absolutely stunning, really unusual and alien-like. I'd never seen one before, but always hoped that we would – we just never expected to find one on a UK beach in April. It was so pretty and tempting to touch."

Concerns over potential harm from the animals were aired back in April, with Helen adding there was a real chance of "kids and dogs" being harmed.

She added: "But there were so many people with kids and dogs as it was the Easter holidays, someone could easily get hurt."

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