Spotting a rare creature from the sea isn't common in Texas, especially with the lack of tropical fish-filled near-shore beaches compared to states like Florida or Georgia. However, last week, a Texas beach welcomed a rare creature after a family saw it wash up onshore and it's unlike anything Texans have ever seen before. While it resembles a sea slug, its name and characteristics are not what you'd expect them to be.
After deciding that due to its bright color it might be dangerous, the family told KSAT that they decided to alert someone who could better handle the creature.
This was the right call, as anyone who picks up a blue dragon risks painful and potentially fatal stings.
Padre Island National Seashore shared in a Facebook post that, "Because they are able to concentrate the stinging cells together, their sting can be more painful than a man-of-war's!"
Who knew that something so small and squishy could be such a ferocious predator?
Padre Island National Seashore took to Facebook to share the news with beachgoers last week and offered some interesting information on the species.
"A blue dragon, a type of nudibranch or sea slug, was found in the park this weekend. Blue dragons are very small, generally only 3 cm, but don't let their size fool you, they have a defense worthy of the name dragon," said the post.
"So, if you see a dragon in the park, be amazed as they are a rare find, but also keep your distance!"
Above, you can see what the blue dragons look like up close. Their color is quite stunning, and their appearance alone explains why "dragon" is in the name.
Blue dragons can typically be found throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Texas beaches are filled with more unique sealife than many thought was possible.
Now that beaches across the state have reopened, who knows what else beachgoers will spot! And as recommended by Padre Island National Seashore, do not touch or pick up anything that might be dangerous.