Jellyfish have clear, jellylike bodies that are shaped like an umbrella. Tentacles containing stinging structures that are used to capture prey hang below the body. When a person comes in contact with the tentacles, the stinging structures pierce the skin and inject venom. Even dead jellyfish can sting, so do not touch the ones that have washed up on the beach.
The jellyfish in the picture is a stinging nettle. It is one of several types of jellyfish that are found along the coast of North Carolina.
Portuguese Man o' War (Physalia physalis):
At first glance, the Portuguese Man o' War looks similar to the jellyfish, but both its body and tentacles hang below an air filled bladder that keeps it afloat on the surface of the water. It also has stinging structures that can injure a person even after the jellyfish is dead.
Common Symptoms from Stings
Uncommon Symptoms from Stings
What to Do if Someone is Stung: