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Rare Blue Dragons Are Washing Up On Island Beach In Texas

by : Cameron Frew on : 11 May 2020 12:10
Rare Blue Dragons Are Washing Up On Island Beach In TexasRare Blue Dragons Are Washing Up On Island Beach In TexasHunter Lane/Padre Island National Seashore/Facebook

Rare blue dragons have been washing up on a Texas shore. While beach-goers should be ‘amazed’ if they find one, the creatures should also be admired from a distance.

These aren’t the type of fire-breathing beasts that will spout flames at the call of ‘dracarys’. Blue dragons are actually a type of ‘nudibranch or sea slug’, only measuring out at around three centimetres long. However, they can pack a punch similar to a man-of-war’s if you touch them.

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On May 2, the Lane family were vacationing at Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) when seven-year-old Hunter found a dragon, believing he’d discovered ‘a new species’. Later, he went on to find three more – but it turns out they’ve become a common sight for several visitors.

Here there be dragons!A blue dragon, a type of nudibranch or sea slug, was found in the park this weekend. Blue…

Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hunter’s parents, from Mesa, Arizona, have been holidaying at the shore for the past 30 years, yet they’d never once seen these mysterious creatures. ‘We spent three years camping out there, usually once a month or more, in college and neither one of us had ever seen one of these little guys,’ Hunter’s mum Leah told KSAT.

His father Trey also told CNN: ‘Hunter loves sea creatures and thought he had found a blue button jellyfish. After they picked it up in a beach toy he proclaimed to me that he had discovered a new species!’

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Hunter’s mum Leah added: 

One washed up right next to my foot at some point, luckily I saw him and didn’t step on it. 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.

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.

The PINS Facebook page shared Hunter’s snaps, advising visitors who come across a blue dragon to not ‘let their size fool you… they have a defence worthy of the name dragon’.

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The post explained: ‘Blue dragons are a predator of the Portuguese man-of-war. After eating, they move the stinging cells from the man-of-war to the end of their fingers. Because they are able to concentrate the stinging cells together, their sting can be more painful than a man-of-war’s!’ Gnarly.

The Lane family aren’t alone in their discovery. Spokeswoman Jamie Kennedy said lots of beach-goers are finding them recently, most likely due to a surge of them washing up on the shore – hence Hunter’s amazing feat of finding four despite their rarity.

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Somebody better ring the Texan Targaryens.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Animals, Beaches, Dragons, Texas

Credits

Padre Island National Seashore/Facebook and 2 others
  1. Padre Island National Seashore/Facebook

    @nps.pais

  2. KSAT

    Beautiful but dangerous blue dragons discovered on Texas beach are ‘rare find’

  3. CNN

    Rare blue dragons are washing up on the Padre Island National Seashore