FOLLY BEACH — Watch your step if you're wading the warm wash on the beaches. A swarm of tiny Portuguese man-of-wars — that nasty stinging mess of tentacles —apparently has turned up along the Washout, the popular surf spot, and nearby waters.

Surfers say they have seen them are all over the place.

What's odd about it: Man-of-wars usually show up in the summer, and there have been no reports of them along Sullivan's Island or Isle of Palms. Portuguese man-of-war are the gorgeous, jellyfish-like creature with tentacles that can hang as long as a tree is high and a sting that burns like fire. They're alluring enough to draw the curious. They have blobs like sails that look like shiny blue balloons bobbing in the water, and can lose most of their tentacles and appear harmless on the beach.

There's one bright spot. Man-of-wars can get as big as a basketball and those tentacles can stretch out a long ways. Compared to those full adults, these guys are shrimps.

Read more in tomorrow's editions of The Post and Courier.