blue dragon
The blue dragon is a one-inch slug which packs a heap of venom Sylke Rohrlach via Wikimedia Commons

The ocean is home to all manner of hideous creatures, but a blue dragon that recently washed up on a beach in north-eastern Australia shows that there is plenty of beauty beneath the surface too. But if you were expecting a winged, fire-breathing reptile, then you're out of luck.

The blue dragon – more properly known as the glaucus atlanticus – is actually a sea slug, but don't let its repulsive connotation put you off. This blue and white silky-looking swimmer, adorned with water wings, is adorable but deadly.

Despite being just an inch long, the blue dragon – which wouldn't look out of place in a deck of Pokemon cards – has enough venom to take down the dangerous Portuguese man-o-war, or bluebottle, which can grow to almost 11 times the size of the blue dragon. Once it has fed on venomous prey, it stores the poison for its own use later.

Came across this odd critter at Broadbeach today. It's a Glaucus Atlanticus.

Posted by Lucinda Fry on Thursday, November 12, 2015

However, they are rarely seen by humans so when one washed up on the shore of Broadbeach in Queensland, Facebook user Lucinda Fry was quick to get a video of the mollusc. She posted it to the social media site on 12 November, with the video quickly racking up the views.