Rare blue dragons and bewildering beachgoers have been washing up on a shore in Texas.
During their trips, visitors to the Padre Island National Seashore have spotted the creatures, sharing photos of the unique creatures online.
According to the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) the dragons are a type of sea slug and are very small in size, usually only measuring up to 3 cm. According to an earlier edition of the Padre Post newspaper shared with KSAT, the sea creatures “get their vivid blue colour from their food sources, which include Portuguese man-of-war and blue button jellyfish.”
As the dragons eat Portuguese man o ‘wars they store the stinging cells of their prey in their “fingers” for their own use.
According to PINS, owing to the ability of the dragon to concentrate the stinging cells in their tiny “fingers,” they can inflict an even greater sting than the original man o’ war could have done.
“So, if you see a dragon in the park, be amazed as they are a rare find, but also keep your distance!, the agency warns.
One of the people on the beach to spot the creatures was seven-year – old Mesa Arizona-based Hunter Lane, whose family was on holiday in the region.
“Hunter loves sea creatures and thought he had found a blue button jellyfish,” Trey Lane, Hunter’s father, told CNN. “After they picked it up in a beach toy he proclaimed to me that he had discovered a new species”.
Hunter’s mother, Leah Lane, told KSAT that the family had spotted four in the afternoon space, but fortunately the family had avoided stung during their meetings. “Hunter really wanted to touch it, I don’t blame him, I did too, as they look very soft and squishy. But we discussed that since we have no clue what they are we better not”, she said.
“After thinking about it he even said ‘he might be like the poison dart frog mom, he is kind of brightly colored, which is a warning.’ Smart kid.”
Jamie Kennedy, a park spokeswoman told CNN that dragon sightings on the seashore seemed to have spiked.
“A lot of people are finding them lately. That will often happen with animals that a bunch will wash up at the same time”, a spokesperson for PINS told KSAT.