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A rare, beautiful but deadly creature has emerged from the waters off Texas beaches.

Marine biologists call Glaucaus Atlanticus, also known as blue dragon nudibranchs, washing up on shore in far greater numbers than have been recorded in the past half century. Scientists don’t yet have a working theory to explain why.

These blue ocean wonders are usually around three centimeters long and are thought to be nudibranchs, a type of marine mollusk with brightly colored patterns on their soft shells.

Pretty little blue dragons feed on other sea life. Its diet includes the fearsome Portuguese battleship as well as other poisonous siphonophores or jellyfish-like creatures.

Its defense mechanism is similar to that of a jellyfish in that it secretes a stinging venom through explosive cells embedded within its tissues. Human handling can result in excruciating pain as well as very severe toxicity, even death.

Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Texas, a public family beach and campground, posted a warning last week on its Facebook page that a turtle had been found in the park , while one should cherish the opportunity to see it up close, one should also be cautious. The sting could be much worse than the battleship’s sting.

Photo Credit: Padre Island National Seashore

This colorful and strikingly shaped yet dangerous creature was discovered in 1777 by George Forster, a German naturalist and revolutionary, founder of the modern travel guide.

Interestingly, this slug-like creature is neither male nor female. When mating, both members of a pair can produce fertilized eggs, which result in offspring.

Another intriguing feature that makes these little blue creatures particularly unique is their ability to absorb and assimilate the venomous cells of their prey when devouring other siphonophores, such as the dreaded battleship, and combine them with their own venom, creating One of the most poisonous sea creatures. Everyone knows about stings. Their bites can cause extreme fever, nausea and respiratory problems and can be fatal.

While sightings of blue dragons are rare, when they are seen they occur in groups, most often in the waters off India and Peru. Some archaeologists believe that dragons may have been highly prized, even considered sacred, due to the reverence for colors such as jade, turquoise and topaz by ancient Aboriginal cultures in these regions.

Careful biological examination of these creatures has yielded little scientific insight into their social behavior or methods of communication, leading some scientists to believe that they may be able to communicate through methods other than our known five senses. The purpose of the creature’s wavy front tentacles remains largely a mystery to researchers today. Specimens in captivity often do not survive for very long. Several researchers have observed individuals attacking and devouring other individuals while in captivity.

Experts advise beachgoers not to touch and closely examine blue dragons, as their stings can be quite dangerous. A YouTube video showing an amateur explorer safely handling the creature without protective gear has raised questions about why authorities are issuing dire warnings to tourists from the deep.

Blue dragons aren’t the only strange deep-sea creatures that have washed up on shores around the world in recent years. Beachgoers in Corpus Christi, Texas, also spotted a very rare fish that usually lives around 1,200 feet below the surface. A family in New Zealand has discovered a pink jellyfish that has been recorded as one of the largest in the world. According to a 2018 Fox News article.

Gauss Atlantic comes from a mysterious ocean that has not yet been explored and understood by humans. The curious biological functions of these creatures have aroused curiosity about what other wonders lie beneath the deepest, darkest regions of our planet, and which of these wonders are not only foreign to us, And probably also alien to this planet.

Video Credit: Britney Waters

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