Thousands Of Toxic Sea Creatures Wash Up On Texas Coast

(Photo by Smiley N. Pool-Pool/Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Thousands of toxic sea creatures washed up Sunday on the coast of Texas.

Blue dragons, which are shell-less mollusks known for their toxicity, washed up in larges numbers along the shores of North Padre Island, Harte Research Institute officials said, according to the New York Post.

“When threatened or touched, it can release stinging cells with more powerful stings than the Portuguese man o’ war can alone! That’s why we recommend just taking photos and not touching,” the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s marine research institute wrote on Facebook.

Photographs posted by the institute show several blue dragons scattered across the coast. One image showed a closeup of the toxic, shell-less mollusk, which is small and commonly referred to as “the most beautiful killer in the ocean,” according to the outlet.

Texas experiences the strong southeast winds responsible for blowing in the blue dragons every year around spring break, the outlet reported. The dangerous sea creatures can sting when threatened or touched, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s marine institute noted, urging people not to go further than photographing the mollusks. (RELATED: 50,000 Pound Whale Found Dead, Beached In Florida)

The scientific name for blue dragons is the Glaucus atlanticus sea slug, according to the outlet. The sea creature feeds off the toxins of the species, and their sting can cause symptoms in humans including nausea, pain and vomiting.

“This is just the first ‘blue wave’ of these organisms washing in together. You can expect to see this happening more as we get into spring with strong southeast winds blowing them onshore. Happy beachcombing!” the Harte Research Institute said.