SEA creatures with a potentially fatal sting have been spotted on Brighton beach.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust is warning people to stay away if they see a Portuguese Man O’War after sightings of the “bizarre” species on the pebbles in the last few days.

Ella Garrud, living seas officer at the trust said: “A lot of people mistake them for jellyfish and although they’re related they’re not the same species.

“They can give a very nasty sting and in very rare cases they can be lethal. It is rare and is more likely for a child to die if they got stung.

“If you find them washed up on the beach stay away as they can still sting even if they’re dead.”

Portuguese Man O’War are a kind of colonial hydrozoan - small organisms which can only survive as a group.

They were last seen in the Brighton area in 2017, according to the trust’s records.

Ella said it is “pretty rare” for Portuguese Man O’War to be seen this far down the channel as they are typically found in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but they are more likely to wash up on British shores after westerly winds.

She said: “They get caught up on currents as they don’t have much swimming ability.

“They’re actually a number of different organisms which work together as a whole.

“It sounds completely bizarre and it is. They can only function as this colony.

“Their tentacles can get very long in the water.”

The creature takes its name from an 18th century sailing ship, as its gas-filled bladder sits above the water and appears to resemble a warship at full sail.