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Wild Things: Portuguese Man-of-War

The Portuguese Man-of-War is a jelly-like marine animal but it's no jellyfish. In fact, these sea creatures are four different polyps that rely on each other to survive. Man-of-Wars are well known for their painful and powerful sting. They can be found in warm water all over the world.

This stinging animal is called the Man-of-War because it looks a bit like a Portuguese battleship with a sail. It's not built like a battle ship. The body is a gas filled float which can be blue to pink in color (it looks like a bag.) It can be anywhere from three to 12 inches (nine to 30 centimeters.) Underneath the float are clusters of polyps which coiled tentacles hang off of. The stinging tentacles can be up to 165 feet (about 50 meters) long. Sometimes the gas bag will flop over in the water but its muscles pull itself back up. The crest above the float is only a few inches tall and acts like a sail. It relies on the wind to move it from one place to another.

Since it has no control over where it goes Man-of-Wars are often found washed ashore, especially during winter and when the wind is bad. The bag that keeps it afloat must be kept wet. If the bag dries then the Man-of-War dies. To keep it from drying out the animal dips its sail in the water once every so often. When it's in the water, the Man-of-War uses the tentacles to capture small fish, plankton and crayfish. The tentacles paralyze prey. By contracting its muscles, the Man-of-War's tentacles can move fairly quickly.

The stings of the Man-of-War aren't just painful to their prey. It can cause some serious pain and effects to people too. This includes fever, shock as well as heart and lung problems. If you're stung by a Man-of-War pick off any visible tentacles, then rinse with fresh or salt water. Put ice on the area. Because you might go into shock it is important to get medical help as soon as possible. The toxins from tentacles are about 75 percent as powerful as cobra venom. Ouch! Even dead Man-of-Wars stranded on the beach can still sting so don't touch them and keep out of the water if they are present.

This is Interesting

  • Sometimes you can see Man-of-Wars floating along in groups of up to 1000 or more.
  • When the weather gets bad these guys know what to do. They can deflate their floats so that the weather will not harm it. After all, they are delicate.
  • The float, or bag, is filled with the rare gas Argon - no one knows why.

Have you had a run-in with a Man-of-War? Do you know anyone who has? Tell us about it.

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-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in New Users:
I commented Jordan about it. I found it a great idea. 
reply 9 minutes
Black_Rose_19
Black_Rose_19 posted in Debating:
Haha, I guess after looking at your facts, you win. I still am pretty bad at this, so I'm quick to give up, but you've actually successfully changed my opinion on this, so props to you. Well, that's what I get for messing with the master.
reply 10 minutes
naruto200
naruto200 posted in New Users:
Yeah, i'm not blaming you for that. Just, they might find it annoying. But kw should make a tutorial video for kw though. That would be so appreciated by new users.
reply 19 minutes
-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in New Users:
I don't mean for it to be spread out into posts, but there is a character limit. 
reply 26 minutes
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"Black_Rose_19" wrote:I originally got this story from a source that most people wouldn't exactly call credible , a comedy/politics TV show, but after checking their sources, I believe I have a strong case with decently strong sources.  I hope so. I'm using the same source that John used for debate's sake.  "Black_Rose_19" wrote:You are incorrect when you said you'd only have to pay for labor and materials, as several other factors come into play. Factors...such as? "Black_Rose_19" wrote: Also, where I said 1000 feet, I very much apologize, more like 1000 miles. It should cost about 10 billion for the concrete panels, and although concrete is cheap, it's not dirt cheap, and 1000 miles of concrete will add up to a pretty good amount.  It's okay, I adjusted ## ####### to miles, but somehow still said feet. The same estimate I gave is found in the article, which is around eight million cubic yards of concrete. This would total out to roughly thirty two billion pounds of concrete, which totals out to 533 million bags of concrete, each weighing sixty pounds. The average cost of a sixty pound bag of concrete is $2.83, which we them multiply by 533 million to get 1.5 billion.  This is where I messed up. I used the standard price of unmixed concrete, when I needed to use the standard price of precast slabs. Oliver's source does the rest:  "A cement manufacturer said prices are now running $85 to $90 a cubic yard, so that works out to about $700 million just for the concrete" However, in an update, they nixed the math all together and went with an anonymous economist's unevidenced estimate:  "He worked through some of the math, though he did not want to be identified publicly. Roughly, he said a wall of this type would cost at least $25 billion" This is what John Oliver used on his show. As the unknown economist cites no reason for us to think that the cost would be anywhere near his estimate, I see no reason to think his estimate is valid.  So, effectively, we've reduced the cost from 3 billion to 700 million. Let's the keep the billion dollar safe fund though. Total so far: 1.7 Billion "Black_Rose_19" wrote:Next it should cost 5-6 billion dollars for steel columns to hold the panels, including labor. Really? Including labor? Fine with me. I'm honestly not sure how much steel would be needed for each panel, so I'll defer to this estimate.  Total Cost so far: 6.7 Billion "Black_Rose_19" wrote:Add another billion for concrete footing and foundations, and that's sixteen billion dollars. The Washington Post article included foundation in their total assessment of the concrete required. "Black_Rose_19" wrote:But, transport is required to inaccessible areas. It will cost about another 2 billion dollars to build roads that will allow 20 ton trucks to carry materials to the wall. At ten million dollars per mile, a road spanning the entire length of the wall would require ten billion dollars. Why do you think a fifth of this cost would be required?  The average cost of a road which would allow such transport is 5 million per mile. Let's overestimate the length that would be required to two hundred miles. That gets you to 1 billion.  Total cost so far: 7.7 Billion "Black_Rose_19" wrote:We also need engineering, design, and management, which brings us up to the magic number of 25 billion dollars, on average considering all factors. The Congressional Budget office also says that wall management costs will exceed the original cost to build the wall in as little as seven years. From your previous estimate of eighteen billion, I'll assume that you're factoring in seven billion dollars worth of engineering, design, and management? Why do you think it'll cost that much? To pay every engineer, designer, and manager who would ever work on the wall...I'd put aside about 1.5 billion. Total cost: 9.2 Billion Well what do you know. About a sixth of the annual trade deficit with Mexico, and almost a third of your original estimate.  "Black_Rose_19" wrote:With the Mexico paying for it part, as John Oliver, the host of this show, says, "People don't exactly love it when you make them pay for [expletive] they don't want." The current Mexican treasury secretary states, "Mexico, under no circumstance, is going to pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing." 2 former Mexican presidents that only recently left office also say, in a nutshell, that Mexico will never pay for the wall.  They won't love it, but they will pay for it. If they refuse, Trump plans to put a 35% tariff on all Mexican import. In other words, every company in Mexico will have to pay 35% the value of whatever they're bringing into The United States. Mexico will lose more money paying this tariff than they would by financing the wall, so either way the United States gets the money it needs to build the wall from Mexico. 
reply 39 minutes