Swimming With A Portuguese Man O War-Miami, Florida


Every day like the one before the sun rises over the oceans horizons.

Theres something unique about watching the horizon bloom, beginning from the morning star, twilight, and then through the first light of day. It makes you feel as if you are one with the day.

Today I have the privilege to witness sunrise from the tranquil shores of Miami Beach,Florida.

As I let the choppy mornings waves wash up on my legs, I attempt to contemplate how much life exists beneath these soupy waters. There’s something unique about the ocean that inclines me to contemplate my own thoughts and the deeper meaning of everything around me.

Instinctively I look down into the water to see if I am sharing a mornings swim with any aquatic life.


Nothing seems to be in the waves other than myself, and some drifting sea shells.

As the morning grew older beautiful Prussian blue jelly fish like creatures began washing onto the shore. Each wave that crashed brought more and more of these intriguing creatures with it.

man o war

Most of the creatures were small, but a few were quite large and had long tentacles. My first thoughts were to stay out of the water, but my curiosity led me to investigate it further.

As it turns out, these beautiful blue creatures are Portuguese man o’ wars and is not an “it” but a “they”. Each “one” is actually composed of multiple organisms called zooids that work together for survival. Although they generally sting, their tentacles are more commonly dangerous to small fish than to people.

It is an amazing feeling to be one with the ocean and to get up close and personal with one of its many mysteries.

I must admit that I was cautious before getting back into the water with todays sea life, but it was only a matter of time before I found myself bravely floating in the waves with theses aquatic miracles. After all, “if you’re not living on the edge, then your just taking  up too much space”.  🙂


Zoe Green

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