See How Blue Sea Dragons Take Venom From Portugese Man O' War

A marine conservationist has revealed the secrets of one of the ocean's most beautiful but dangerous creatures.

The mysterious blue sea dragon is a species of small sea slug that uses venom taken from Portugese man o' war (Physalia physalis) to kill their prey.

Julian Obayd, the self-styled blue dragon hunter, is a marine biology student from Queensland, Australia, who became fascinated by the exotic killers.

Julian Obayd catches a blue dragon
Julian Obayd catches a blue dragon in Stradbroke, Australia in undated footage. The blue dragon belongs to a Glaucus atlanticus species. @julianobayd/Zenger

Videos uploaded by the 21-year-old student show how the dragons, also known by their taxonomic name Glaucus atlanticus, get their venom from eating chunks of the siphonophore.

And because it is concentrated in their body, the venom becomes even more powerful.

The Portuguese man o'war, which is closely related to jellyfish, has hundreds of venom-filled nematocysts in its trailing tentacles that it uses to first paralyze and then consume its prey - mostly small fish. The tentacles continue to be venomous even days after death or when they are detached.

Exposure to the tentacles can cause painful welts and dermatitis, which can be relieved by the application of seawater and undiluted vinegar, according the University of Hawaii.

One video on Obayd's TikTok account, which has 378 000 followers, shows dragons surrounding a Portuguese man o' war as they feed on it.

Another viral video called "Failed Rescuer Mission" shows him rescuing a bucketful of blue dragons from a beach on North Stradbroke Island in Queensland.

But as he returns them to the sea, the waves bring them back to sting him.

The wildlife volunteer explained: "So today I stuffed up big time. I came to the beach and I wasn't expecting to see blue dragons but I ended up finding a lot so I had to make this little homemade bucket thing I bought from the shops and by this point I'd found like, heaps.

"And this is sort of where I stuffed up right here, I walked them to the beach to pour them out and they all came back to me, and my stomach is stuffed."

One user commented, "forbidden shark gummies," while another wrote, "aren't they like, really venomous?"

Julian Obayd catches blue dragons
Julian Obayd, 21, holds a plastic bucket with blue dragons in Stradbroke, Australia, in undated footage. The blue dragon belongs to a Glaucus atlanticus species. @julianobayd/Zenger

In an interview with Zenger News, Obayd explained that the blue dragon is, "a highly venomous sea slug that uses venom collected from their diet of blue bottles.

He said: "They release it from their ceratas (those little tentacle things).

"I call it a Pokémon because of the intriguing shape and vibrant colors."

A second video that shows a blue dragon eating a blue bottle or man o' war received reactions like, "deadliest fish tank ever" and "world's deadliest soup."

When asked what inspires him to share these videos, Obayd said: "I really would like people to see and experience the beauty I have been so lucky to have grown up with.'

He added: "Steve Irwin was a big impact on my life growing up, he grew up in Queensland too. There's a lot people haven't seen from our oceans."

Blue dragons are found in tropical oceans around the world and feed on other dangerous sea creatures before storing their venom.

The sea slugs are best admired from afar as their stings can result in acute allergic contact dermatitis as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation along with nausea, vomiting, and intense pain.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.