An invasion of potentially fatal jellyfish-like creatures on Britain’s shores is the biggest ever recorded in the UK.
The Portuguese man-of-war was first spotted in Cornwall and have been seen as far east as Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire.
The Marine Conservation Society said it had received reports of thousands of the organisms which have long purple tentacles.
It amounts to the greatest number of Portuguese man-of-war recorded in the UK since records began in 2003, the MCS said.
Dr Peter Richardson said there had been reports of them in Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Wales.
“It’s the biggest we have ever recorded and they are still coming in,” he said.
“The last really big sighting was in 2012.
“They spread further in 2012 but we have had greater numbers this time.”
Dr Richardson said being open ocean animals they were very difficult to study, making it hard to tell if there had been a population increase.
He said: “It will be down to a combination of factors [including] the extreme weather we’ve had with the hurricanes.
They are not supposed to be here.”
The NHS recommends using tweezers or a clean stick, and gloves if possible, to remove man-of-war tentacles.
If symptoms become more severe, or a sensitive part of the body has been stung, you should seek medical help.