OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — That blue jellyfish-like creature seen on an Ocean City beach, is actually a siphonopores– or as some argued in a Facebook post earlier this week the species of a Portuguese man o’ war.

We talked to experts from the National Aquarium about the sea creature and they said they believe recent weather patterns, like hurricanes, likely brought it up here.

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Brian Nelson, the aquarium’s Assistant Curator of Blue Wonders, said siphonopores are not active swimmers, but instead move passively with the wind and the waves.

Siphonopores are pretty common in the south, Nelson added, although not a normal thing you find in the northeast.

Jennie Janssen, another Assistant Curator of Blue Wonders, said that the way to tell the difference between a siphonopores and a jellyfish is that you can see them coming (because of their bright colors)

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They will sting you underwater, but if you see the floaty blue bubble you can keep your distance!

They’re quite painful and can cause swelling but not generally considered lethal, Nelson added.

They warn that if you spot one — they are brightly colored blue, pink or violet — avoid the area. If you see one in the sand, don’t walk up to it barefoot and don’t touch it. Their tentacles can reach 30 inches!

If you do get stung by one, use a towel or gloves to remove the tentacles and fragments on your skin, but don’t touch it with bare hands.

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