Exquisite Photos of the Infamous Portuguese Man O’ War

Man o' war

Who does not squirm when they first hear that a Portuguese man o’ war is in their midst? Dreaded and steered clear of by beach-goers around the globe, the Portuguese man o’ war has astounded, scared and fascinated those who have encountered it. The organism often thought to be intimately related to the jellyfish species is fussed at for the complex and lively patterns found its physical being and feared for the painful sting it shoots at beachgoers. South Florida-based fine art photographer Aaron Ansarov wants to give us a new attitude regarding the Portuguese man o’ war.  For Ansarov, they are incredible creatures that should be re-examined.

aaron ansorov

The retired U.S. navy combat photographer has documented images of these remarkable creatures as they get washed up on the beach in Florida. National Geographic has recently featured the series that reveals the unseen nature of these deep-sea stingers up close. It is a perspective otherwise unobservable by the human eye.

aaron ansorov photo

Ansarov shared his fascination for the Portuguese man o’ war.”I began photographing these creatures after seeing how fascinating their colors, shapes and textures were,” relating how he got started in a recent interview. “Everyone would see these creatures and look at them in disgust which made me even more fascinated by them.”

aaron ansorov jellyfish

The Portuguese man o’ war also called the Portuguese man-of-war, man-of-war, or even bluebottle is a marine cnidarian from the family Physaliidae. It’s toxic carrying tentacles can deliver a painful sting. Notwithstanding its outward physical appearance, the Portuguese man o’ war is not a common jellyfish as believed by many, but a siphonophore, which is not actually a sole multicellular organism.

jellyfish aaron ansorov

The internet describes it as “a colony of specialized minute individuals called zooids. These zooids are attached to one another and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.”


See how colorful and vivid this living creature is in Ansarov’s website.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.