The animals are a type of sea slug whose scientific name is Glaucus atlanticus
In South Africa, dozens of strange blue dragon-like sea creatures have washed up on a beach near Cape Town.
The animals are a type of sea slug whose scientific name is Glaucus atlanticus but it is also known as the sea swallow and the blue angel among other nicknames, reports The Independent.
The creatures were found by Maria Wagener who was wandering along the coast in the sand of Fish Hoek Beach, the UK Sun reported.
Wagener said she found around 20 creatures of the same species on the beach. Despite living near the beach her entire life, she had never seen the creatures before. Suspecting that the sea slugs might be dangerous, she didn’t risk picking one up.
Stunning dragon-like sea creatures wash up on beach pic.twitter.com/esSmgpXYtC— The Independent (@Independent) November 28, 2020
Maria Wagner shared the images of the creatures on her Facebook page.
“I pick up starfish all the time and put them back into the sea but I had a feeling that these would have a sting," Wagener told The Sun.
She added: “I probably would have put them back in the sea if I’d had something to lift them, but no, I didn’t touch them!”
Blue dragons feed on deadly Portuguese man o’ war and other venomous aquatic critters then process their cells to zap predators with an even stronger sting, which can cause nausea, pain and vomiting, reports New York Post.
They use the tentacles as a defence mechanism against predators.
The sea slugs have previously been found stranded on beaches in Australia as well as in the US, and can be found throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.