The Portuguese Man-of-War
The vibrant hues and ethereal body of the Portuguese man-of-war entice people to take a closer look, but beware—to those who draw too near, this delicate creature delivers a painful sting.
Being built like a glass-blown ship at full sail is what gave the man-of-war its nautical name. It’s also what enables the creatures to go where the wind takes them—even when that means foundering on the beach. This is where professional photographer Aaron Ansarov encounters them.
A retired combat photographer for the U.S. Navy, Ansarov has been collecting and photographing man-of-wars from a local Florida beach for the past two years now. “It’s an opportunity to explore a new world,” he says, and part of a wider photo project Ansarov started after he left the military in 2007. (Read about his project in National Geographic magazine.)