'Kinda Cute': Viewers Enthralled by Video of 'Weird' Stinging Creature on Texas Beach

A video of a strange, almost-otherworldly sea creature—with the capacity to cause a serious sting—has gone viral on Facebook, leaving viewers fascinated.

The clip, which shows a Portuguese man o' war washed ashore on a Texas beach, has been viewed over 100,000 times since it was shared by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday.

The posting of the footage aligns with recent reports of beachgoers currently encountering "above average" numbers of man o' wars in the state.

Man-o-War
A Facebook video of a Portuguese man o' war posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife has gone viral. A Portuguese man o' war on a beach in Texas. arinahabich/iStock / Getty Images Plus

In the short, 23-second-long video, the man o' war appears as a blue-green, blob-like mass laying across the sand. As the tide comes in, the creature lifts its body from the ground and toward the ocean. But as the video ends, it lowers itself back to the sand.

While often compared to jellyfish, Portuguese man o' wars is actually a type of siphonophore. As Texas Parks and Wildlife explained, a man o' war consists of "a colony of organisms, each with its special function," taking the shape of a "gas-filled bubble or float."

Portuguese man o' wars range in color from vivid blues and purples to being entirely transparent. They also have "long, thread-like tentacles" that can measure up to 15 meters in length and which come equipped with "thousands of stinging cells called nematocysts."

Coming into contact with one of these carnivorous creatures can leave an unpleasant and painful mark: "Stings produce what seem to be burning rash streaks where the tentacles have made contact," explained Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Viewers appeared to have a range of emotions in response to the recent Facebook video, with many expressing affection for the stranded siphonophore.

"So very sad!" wrote one viewer. "It's reaching out toward the water as the wave approaches."

"I never thought it was possible to feel anthropomorphic compassion for these creatures, but here you go," echoed another.

"He is kinda...cute," said one commenter. "Also looks like a gelatin pigeon."

"I have seen tens of thousands of these in my life, and I have never seen one move," remarked another.

Should one sustain a man o' war sting, Texas Parks and Wildlife advised "not to rub the area, although this is a natural instinct."

"You can use a driver's license or credit card to scrape off the tentacles, which are almost invisible," explained the agency. "One of the most effective and inexpensive treatments for the pain of the sting is placing the affected area under hot [not scalding] water or applying warm compresses."

However, they said that one should seek medical attention in cases of severe reactions.