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Nature & Environment

Venomous 'blue dragons' are washing up on beaches in Texas

By T.K. Randall
February 17, 2024 · Comment icon 3 comments
Blue dragon.
The species has a unique and impressive appearance. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Sylke Rohrlach
A strange and rarely seen type of sea creature has been appearing more and more frequently along the coastline.
Sporting a vibrant sapphire coloring and unusual wing-like appendages, the blue dragon (or Glaucus atlanticus) is quite unlike anything else that you are likely to see while visiting the seaside.

This rare species, which typically spends its existence floating upside-down on the water's surface, lives in warm, tropical regions and feeds on venomous animals such as the Portuguese man o' war.

Beachgoers were particularly surprised, therefore, to find dozens of them washed up on the sand along North Padre Island, just south of Corpus Christi, Texas last weekend.

The spectacle prompted marine biologists to warn people not to touch them.

"If someone gets stung by a blue dragon it would be intense pain for about an hour," marine conservationist Jace Tunnell told Mail Online.
"People might experience nausea and the feeling like needles scraping the skin. Anyone who has been stung by a man o' war knows what I'm talking about."

It is believed that many more blue dragons will wash up on the beaches in the near future.

"This is just the first 'blue wave' of these organisms washing in together," the Harte Research Institute wrote on Facebook.

"Each spring when we get strong southeast winds blowing in, we get a wave of man-o-wars, by-the-wind-sailors, blue buttons, and the organisms that feed on them - the rarely seen blue dragon."

"You can expect to see this happening more as we get into spring."

Source: Mail Online | Comments (3)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Wreck7 2 months ago
Interesting. I've never seen one.
Comment icon #2 Posted by joc 2 months ago
Personally, I wouldn't stick my big toe in the Gulf of Texas.  Not around Corpus anyway.  But yeah...don't ever touch anything blue or red on the fact...if it isn't a rock, a shell, or drift wood...don't touch it.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Hankenhunter 2 months ago
What a spectacular creature. The coloring is beautiful. Another of nature's "Don't touch me!" wonders.

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