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The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) today warned of the appearance of the caravel-Portuguese species along the coast of Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira.

This gelatinous organism scientific name ‘Physalia physalis’ is what requires more caution.

According to the IPMA, influenced by winds and surface currents, the Portuguese caravel that presents a float in the shape of a blue “balloon” and sometimes with lilac and pink tones is often sighted on the Portuguese coast.

Its tentacles can reach 30 meters in length and cause a nasty sting, capable of causing serious burns.

Given its danger, the IPMA warns that it is important to remember that one should not touch the tentacles, even when the Portuguese caravel appears to be dead on the beach.

In case of contact with the tentacles of a Portuguese caravel the affected zone must be well cleaned with sea water and any pieces of tentacles that may have been trapped in the skin must be removed.

In addition to this care, you may still apply vinegar and hot strips besides being advised to seek medical assistance.

The detection of the Portuguese caravels was done through the monitoring program of gelatinous organisms on the Portuguese continental coast GelAvista, of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere.

Created in 2016, GelAvista has been involving citizens in science for the necessary collection of information on the occurrence or non-existence of gelatinous-looking organisms on the Portuguese coast.

It receives information about the presence of gelatinous organisms, alerting the population, and transmits scientific information about the species, as well as the care to be taken in case of direct contact with the skin.

According to an IPMA note, any occurrence of this or other species of gelatinous organisms may be reported to the GelAvista program.

The information of each sighting (date, place, number of organisms and photograph to serve as a scale) should be sent to the email plancton@ipma.pt, or through the application GelAvista available in the Play Store for Android systems.

In the Facebook page of GelAvista, the most recent occurrences of gelatinous organisms in Portugal are frequently shared, and species information is also available on the gelavista.ipma.pt site.