Australia is home to some pretty gnarly creatures, but I’ve never seen one quite this unsettling. Don’t get me wrong, this alien-like sea slug is oddly beautiful – it just gives me chills. Glaucus atlanticus, more commonly known as the “blue dragon,” made headlines this week after washing ashore in Australia.
Blue dragon sightings are rare, but they have been known to wash ashore while hunting for prey. The blue dragon is so badass it feeds on the Portuguese man o’ war. MAN O’ WAR! Man o’ war are incredibly poisonous. And, despite popular belief, they are not jellyfish! They are siphonophores; animals made up of a colony of organisms working together.
Their tentacles are one of four organisms, covered in venom-filled nematocysts that they use to paralyze and kill fish. For humans? The man-of-war sting is unbelievably painful, but not often deadly. Blue dragons actually snack on the man o’ war’s toxic stingers. They store the poisons within their own bodies and gain the ability to sting like crazy. Ouch!
The blue dragon is tiny, spending most of its time upside down in the water, riding the surface tension of the water’s surface. But, don’t let its small size fool you – it clearly packs a potent poisonous punch.
The video below was uploaded to Facebook on November 12 by Lucinda Fry, and it already has over 200,000 views! Warning: it’s super creepy. You won’t be able to look away.