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Portuguese man o’war and other creatures popping up all over New Jersey

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JERSEY SHORE, N.J. --There have been some odd sightings along the Jersey Shore early on in the beach season.

First, pretty much everyone was tracking a great white shark via twitter as Mary Lee looked for a place to give birth.

Then, a fisherman caught a fish usually found in the Amazon with human like teeth - it's nickname was "the nutcracker."

Now, lifeguards along the shore of Long Beach Island are putting out a new warning after a very rare jellyfish-like creature was found along the shoreline known as a Portuguese man o'war.

"The name is much more intimidating than the animal itself," says John Taranto of Outdoor Life Magazine.   However, he says they are nothing to mess with.    These creatures are usually found in the warm waters of the Gulf Coat, but more than likely got caught in a current and floated up to our shoreline.    In most cases, when something washes up to the beach - it is already dead, but don't let these fool you.

"If you see them on the beach, leave them alone, because they can still sting you after the have died," Taranto says.

In fact, they can have tentacles up to 30 feet long.   So you may see one out in the distance, but it's venom-filled tentacles could be right next to you.   The tentacles are what cling to you , and in some cases can cause a person to go into shock.

Lifeguards along the beach tell PIX11 they have only seen one, so they don't believe there is a reason to panic.  However, they want to put the warning out there for everyone to keep a close eye out for them.    One lifeguard we spoke to tells PIX11 he was once stung by a Portuguese man o'war in Bermuda.

"I had one wrap around my ankle and it felt like someone took hot tongs and grabbed my ankle," describes lifeguard Frederick Weiss.  " A regular jelly fish sting feels like a four, this was more like an eight."

Lifeguards say it's so rare, but if you happen to get stung by one they say do not try and remove it with your hand.  Instead, take a credit card and scrape off the venom-filled tentacles this way you don't sting your hand as well.

The old-wives tale of peeing on a jellyfish sting to ease the pain is actually false, according to numerous lifeguards PIX11 spoke to.

If you happen to spot one of these creatures, notify a lifeguard immediately.