A TikToker has gone viral after posting a video with a poisonous Australian sea creature, and has thus given me a new thing to be afraid of in the ocean (currently, the list contains stonefish, moray eels and The Meg).
The video shows the user @julianobayd holding a little blue creature on his finger in the water. Honestly, it’s really cute and looks like it could’ve made for a great B character in Finding Nemo.
@julianobayd##DisneyPlusVoices what is this? ???? ???? ##beach ##beachvibes ##fish ##weird ##alien♬ Infinity – Jaymes Young
The vid was captioned with “does anyone know what this is?” and, by the 37.5 thousand comments, it turns out many people did.
Apparently the mysterious creature is called the sea swallow, the blue angel, the blue dragon or the blue sea slug (if you’re nasty). The proper – read, fancy – name for it is the ‘glaucus atlanticus’ and surprise, surprise, it’s poisonous!
I feel like that should be the number one rule of living in Australia: when something looks vaguely alien and is an interesting colour, it probably has the capacity to hurt you.
As one commenter on the OG TikTok put it, “if it’s a vibrant colour, by the law of nature don’t touch it”. Solid life advice there.
However, quite a few people have compared the little creature to a Pokémon. IMO, this is a very accurate description, though it’s hard to tell whether it would be a Fairy Type or a Poison Type.
@julianobaydReply to @fuji_kami777 ##DisneyPlusVoices before i knew it could kill me ???? ##beach ##beachvibes ##fish ##weird ##alien♬ Infinity – Jaymes Young
These little blue bad boys have a poisonous sting which can leave you with nausea, pain, allergic contact dermatitis and vomiting. While that may seem worth it in the noble pursuit of catching them all, seriously. Please don’t pick them up.
In one of the gnarliest nature facts I’ve ever heard, the blue sea slug uses the venom of its predators against them. Basically it takes poison from other creatures, like the notoriously deadly Portuguese man o’war jellyfish, and then uses that poison to make itself venomous.
Very cool, very creepy, I’m now 1400 times more scared of what’s at the bottom of the ocean.
These bad boys are found along all the east coast of Australia and the original TikTok was filmed at Stradbroke Island in Queensland.
So, if you’re swimming this summer and think you’ve found a Pokémon, please either take a snap from a distance or just let it swim along on its probably poisonous, merry way.Image: TikTok / @julianobayd