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Beautiful 'blue dragons' wash ashore in South Africa

Friday, November 27th 2020, 2:59 pm - These aren't your typical slugs.

These aren't your typical slugs.

Dozens of 'blue dragons' recently washed up on a beach near Cape Town, South Africa, as seen in the video above.

They're actually called Galucus atlanticus and they're a type of sea slug that goes by many names, including sea swallow and blue angels.

A group of them together is called a "blue fleet," and it's not uncommon for them to wash ashore if the weather conditions are right. You'll most likely find them in areas with tropical or temperate waters.

The recent discover was made by Maria Wagener, a local who often helps beached creatures find their way back into the water.

“I’ve never seen them before and I’ve lived near this beach for most of my life,” she told The Sun.

She added that she decided not to try and handle the slugs as she suspected "they would have a sting."

Wagener was right.

Wikipedia - sea slug A 'blue dragon up close. Courtesy: Wikipedia.

"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," Padre Island National Seashore said in a Facebook post earlier this year.

"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!"

Stings have been known to cause nausea, vomiting, skin lesions, and rashes.

If the slugs look familiar, you may recall they were in the news back in May, when one washed ashore in Texas.

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