Alien-Looking Dangerous Creature Now Found on Texas Beaches
So, question: What feeds on Portuguese Man-O-Wars, is only about an inch long, very pretty, and can set fire to you with their sting? Answer: A little sea slug called a Blue Sea Dragon or Glaucus atlanticus, and they're hitting Texas beaches right now.
Before these little creatures came along I only knew of two stinging critters to beware of on Texas beaches, Portuguese Man-O-Wars and Jellyfish. Both are pretty easy to spot and avoid on the beach, but they are very hard to see in the murky Texas beach water and many people get stung every year.
As I get older the reasons for going to the beach seem to dwindle year after year, I still love it, the sights, the sand, the sound of the waves, the beachy smells, all bring back such great memories of growing up and family vacations to a Texas beach.
Well, now we get to add one more reason to rethink that beach trip this summer, the Blue Dragon sea slug. Yay! Yes, we know, it looks like a Pokemon.
Don't let those good looks and size (only about an inch long) fool you, it's as dangerous as it is pretty, the sting of the Blue Sea Dragon is very powerful. The crazy thing is they don't actually have stingers, they concentrate and store the stinging cells that it consumes from whatever it's eating, such as a Man-O-War, in it's own fingertips. When the time comes to release those stinging cells onto whatever is touching it, like you or I, the sting is more potent than your normal Man-O-War sting.
So, no touchy, touchy.
Check out this amazing HD video by Lawrence Scheele on his YouTube channel called SnorkleDownUnder.
The wind and currents carry these tiny critters which are now being reported on Texas beeches, so be careful out there.