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Toxic blue sea slugs spotted at fishing pier near Keelung

Reporter Scarlett Yu
Release time:2023/11/23 18:51
Last update time:2023/11/23 18:51
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — The "glaucus atlanticus," commonly known as the "blue dragon" or the "blue angel," is a species of shell-less, pelagic sea slugs found primarily in shallow, tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. These creatures are known for floating upside down on the ocean surface, carried along by sea currents.

On Tuesday (Nov. 21), locals were surprised to find seven blue dragons washed up along the coast of the Changtanli fishing pier in Keelung. The sea slugs' striking colors, featuring bright blue, white, and black stripes, attracted many onlookers who eagerly took photos.

 

The blue dragons have appeared intermittently in Taiwan since 2010. Their first recorded presence was that year, followed by sightings in Liuqui, a coral island 13 kilometers from Taiwan, in 2012. Keelung's fishing pier also recorded their appearance in 2013.

Chen Li-shu, director of the industry-academia cooperation division at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology (NMMST), commented on the phenomenon. "Rare creatures usually follow the sea slugs to various sea areas. This includes species like the 'Portuguese man o' war,' the 'blue button jellyfish', and the 'violet sea snail'," he said.

These blue dragons, resembling tiny, three-winged dragons, can grow up to 2 to 5 centimeters in length. They mainly feed on sea creatures with stings capable of paralyzing small fish, such as the 'Portuguese man o'war' and the 'blue button jellyfish.' Despite their beauty, blue dragons are highly poisonous.
 

Experts advise caution when encountering these sea slugs. Physical contact can induce dangerous toxins harmful to various human body systems, including the nerves, heart, and skin. Symptoms of irritation may include dizziness and headaches. 

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#blue dragon sea slugs#glaucus atlanticus#Keelung Taiwan#Changtanli fishing pier#poisonous sea creatures#Taiwan marine life

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