In a sneak peak into the fourth episode of BluePlanet II The Portuguese Man O’ War is shown in its natural state and killing process. The Portuguese Man O’ War, named after Portuguese 18th century warships, is a siphonophore, which is a group of animals closely related to jellyfish and comprised of multiple genetically identical organisms with distinctive a function, called zooid.
The man o’ war rises approximately 6 inches above the waterline floating with the help of a gastel bladder and is known for its blue balloon-like float that’s decorated with a vertical membrane like a sail on a ship to help it keep a steady course through the waves.
Its tentacles trailing behind it can stretch to an average of 30 feet up to a maximum of 100 feet and are equipped with stinging cells. Although rarely lethal to humans, the Man O’ War can paralyze a fish with its tentacles, reel it in, and then digest it with other tentacles. Even after its beached for weeks, its tentacles are still able sting. Amongst the long tentacles, Man O’ War fish,
which have a little bit of resistance to the sting, can be found cautiously swimming around and nibbling off the tentacles.
The short clip shows the intense moment when the Man O’ War’s tentacles catch a fish close by, paralyzing it and wheeling it upwards towards the surface where specialized muscular tentacles transfer the fish to other tentacles that liquify it with special chemicals and leave nothing but a scaly husk.