(Mirror Daily, United States) – Appearance can certainly be deceiving, as a stunning and rare ‘Blue Dragon’ appears in Australia in all its mesmerizing yet potentially deadly glory. Glaucus atlanticus, otherwise known as the Blue Dragon or Blue Angel, is a part of the Glaucidae family, a species of sea slug.
They are an incredibly rare sight due to their miniscule size and exceptional abilities of blending with the water. Due to the striking blue and intricate patterns of their belly, and silvery back, they become very difficult to spot. While it’s unfortunate because it presents an exquisite sights, it’s also potentially dangerous.
The Blue Dragon packs a deadly venom that is ready to be unleashed through its painful sting. In fact, all that poisonous peril is purposefully harvested from other creatures, such as the Portuguese man o’ war. The tiny Blue Dragon grabs and stores the nematocysts from the venomous cnidarian, and then uses them as a weapon to defends itself.
It’s a clever mechanism, and it’s also why it’s advised for those who encounter the tiny creature not to touch it. It can deliver a painful sting that could be potentially dangerous. Luckily, none of those on the shores of Queensland, Australia, where the tiny Blue Dragon washed ashore did. It would look tempting though to touch the beautiful blue streaks.
Blue Dragons are also pelagic creatures, meaning that they swim upside down. The intricate blue patterns are actually its underside, facing upward which blends excellently with the waters. Its front is usually facing down, a silvery color that aids it in blending from predators. The rarity in the sight is also due to its incredibly small size.
The blue sea slug can reach sizes of just 1.2 inches in length when fully matured. It floats about the surface, and sightings have been recorded around Australia, Mozambique, South Africa, or even parts of Europe. They generally live in warm temperate climates, and mostly spend their time out in the open ocean.
Whenever they wash ashore, it’s an accident, which makes it an uncommon sight to spot them on the beach. However, it’s tough to miss the blue speck of patterns and exquisite ramifications of its small body.
Experts advise however to look, but not touch. They may appear to be fragile tiny-looking things, but their sting can be just as painful as that of a Portuguese man o’ war. They’re pretty, but all that admiration might fade while burning with pain from contact.