Finding out the best remedy for a Portuguese man o' war sting requires real testing.
The world's oceans are filled with all sorts of strange creatures. Perhaps none stranger than the Portuguese man o' war, or Physalia physalis as it is known to scientists. Most people think they are jellyfish, but these invertebrates are really colonies of multiple small organisms. They are called zooids.
In any case, the man o' war is a feared creature because those long tentacles are full of tiny stinger-like threads known as nematocysts. These creatures use them to snag small fish and other small prey items. When these stinging cells contact with human skin, the result is a painful burning sensation.
Knowing how prevalent man o' war stings and jellyfish stings are this time of year in Florida, the crew behind the Brave Wilderness YouTube channel decided to test some home remedies for the painful sting. They did this the only way they know how, by having cameraman Mark purposely take one for the team. He then tests the remedies, urine and vinegar, on the affected area.
As you can see, tangling with a Portuguese man-of-war does not look like a pleasant experience in any way shape or form. This siphonophore gets its common name from the fact that weird formation on the back looks like the full sail of a Portuguese man o' war ship. The man o' war is somewhat one of kind since in its genus Physaliidae, it is the lone species.
While it is not a true jellyfish, this alien-looking creature accounts for thousands of stings in Florida and Australia every year. Most of them coming from beachgoers who are not paying attention and accidentally swim into one or step on one that is beached.
These creatures were mostly thought of as a tropical species. However, they have been showing up more often in Northern climates. One washes ashore in Canada every so often. It is worth noting that man o' war have no means of moving themselves. They drift with the tides. This species is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Every time a bunch get washed up in Hawaii, it seems to cause a huge increase in stings.
It seems that the best solution for a Portuguese man-of-war sting is hot water and vinegar. Keep in mind that for some people, this creature's sting is worse and may cause worse symptoms than just some welts. Some may need to seek first aid or more urgent medical attention if the pain does not go away after a few hours. This creature's venom can also cause symptoms that mimic an allergic reaction, which can frighten people even more.