On TikTok, users often engage in dangerous behaviors, but licking a deadly species has to be a new low for the platform.
After a guy uploaded a video to the site showing himself picking up and placing his tongue on a Portuguese man o’ war, users of the network surely seem to believe that this is the case.
Because of its explosive stinging cells and lethal venom, the jellyfish-like siphomore is also known as a “floating terror.” Both of these characteristics have the potential to inflict significant sickness or even death.
The TikToker, who goes by the moniker Alexa Reed, uploaded a video (which has since been deleted) of his interaction with a creature that had been found washed up on a coast.
The TikTok user who has nearly one million followers, published the video in which he can be seen poking, picking up, and even licking a vividly colored blue “jellyfish” that is lying on the beach.
“Look guys, a jellyfish is still here,” he states in the clip. “I’m going to pick it up. This is how it looks like – yes, it is a jellyfish, look how big it is. It’s still moving! I’m going to lick it.”
Alexa, a cosmetics artist and self-proclaimed “CEO of eating bugs,” is unaware that his new jelly companion is really a Portuguese Man o’ War, also known as a Bluebottle, which is one of the most poisonous organisms that can be found in the water.
Although they are closely related to jellyfish, Portuguese Man o’ War are really siphonophores, which are not a single animal but rather a colony of creatures that cooperate together. Siphonophores are not animals but rather colonies of organisms.
These “floating terrors” as they are called are known for their excruciatingly painful stings that leave welts on unlucky swimmers who are caught by their tentacles. They frequent the beaches of Australia and are responsible for up to 10,000 stings to people each year.
There have even been documented incidents of stings leading to a victim’s death, especially in those who were already susceptible.
It is common knowledge that these organisms pose a threat to ocean swimmers and surfers, but it seems that many beachgoers, like this TikToker, are unable to recognize them when they wash up on shore.
In case you don’t believe us, another TikToker by the name of mndiaye 97 has compiled an excellent roundup of the reasons why the Man o’ War should be kept at a very safe distance. Below is the video that quickly became popular around the internet when it was first posted.
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