Beach warning for blue kites washing up on Australian shores: ‘It hurts like hell’

Australian beachgoers are being urged to watch out for a striking sea creature that may look pretty but can actually inflict a nasty sting.

Dozens of blue kites, or Glaucus atlanticus, have washed up on NSW and Queensland beaches this month, prompting a marine expert to warn beachgoers of the dangers the colorful sea slugs can pose.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Man stung by blue kites on Australian beach.

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Experts say their size means most beachgoers don’t see the blue kites until they’ve washed ashore – but swimmers can feel their presence in the water as their spines pack quite a punch.

That’s because the animal eats creatures like the venomous Portuguese man-of-war and stores its prey’s stinging cells — called cnidocytes — in sacs, said David Hicks, director of the University of Texas School of Earth, Environmental and Marine Sciences.

Blue dragons will then use these deadly cells to protect them from predators, and humans can sometimes get caught in the crossfire.

The pain of being stung feels like a war sting, which can be quite painful and, on rare occasions, life-threatening.

A sting from one of the creatures can be particularly unpleasant. Credit: Sylke Röhrlach / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

The enthusiastic marine biologist Julian Obayd knows this feeling only too well.

The Queensland student has documented his experiences finding and releasing the creatures on beaches along the Gold Coast.

“It hurts like hell,” he says in a TikTok clip showing himself being stung by several blue dragons as he tried to release them back into the water.

The colorful sea snails are found in temperate and tropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

In Australia, the species is found primarily along the south-east coast of the mainland, from south Queensland to north Victoria, reports Australian Geographic. It has not been reported in Tasmanian waters.

Marine biologist Julian Obayd shows his blue dragon stings and existing blue bottle stings after attempting to release the blue dragons Credit: Tick ​​tock/@julianobayd

The sea creatures have been popping up in areas where they have never been seen before.

This is believed to be due to warming oceans and increased storm activity due to climate change.

Symptoms of a blue kite sting can include nausea and vomiting, according to American Oceans.

According to Ocean Info, if you get stung by a blue dragon, your best bet is to go to a hospital for treatment.

– With CNN

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Hotel hacks from the flight attendant she swears by. Beach warning for blue kites washing up on Australian shores: ‘It hurts like hell’

James Brien

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