Hundreds of Highly Venomous Creatures Wash Up on Shore

By: Lauren | Published: Jan 02, 2024

On a popular Indian beach in the city of Chennai, a recent storm washed up hundreds of sea creatures that are poisonous to the touch.

Local authorities have warned beach-goers to avoid these creatures, known as Blue Sea Dragons and Blue Buttons, as they could cause significant harm.

Beautiful Beach in Chennai

Marina Beach in Chennai, India, is a beloved seaside paradise for local residents and tourists alike.

Marina Beach from above in Chennai, India

Source: Adobe Stock

However, while visitors are still welcome at the beach, they are being told to be careful of the hundreds of deep sea creatures that have landed on the sand.

What Are Blue Sea Dragons?

These exceptionally interesting-looking animals, known as Blue Sea Dragons, are shell-less gastropod mollusks.

Person holding a Blue Sea Dragon above the water

Source: Pinterest

Also known as sea slugs, they essentially float through the ocean, allowing the currents to carry them along.

Blue Dragons Are Exceedingly Rare

Blue Sea Dragons live in the deepest crevices of the ocean and are hardly ever seen by divers, let alone on land.

Blue Sea Dragon floating in the water

Source: YouTube

Within its tissues, the rare dragons have stinging nematocysts for defense, and if a human was to touch one that was alive, they would certainly receive a painful and maybe even dangerous sting.

What Are Blue Buttons?

On the beach, there were also hundreds of Blue Buttons, which are slightly less exciting to look at than the Blue Sea Dragons but equally as interesting from a biological standpoint.

Photo of a Blue Button and its many tentacles

Source: Pinterest

Blue Buttons are commonly misunderstood to be a variation of the jellyfish, but they are slightly different. While a jellyfish is one animal with several tentacles, each of a Blue Button’s tentacles is actually an individual animal working with the others

The Storm That Caused This Strange Phenomenon

Both the Blue Buttons and the Blue Sea Dragons live deep in the sea and hardly ever make their way to land or even the surface of the ocean.

Photograph of a cyclone with the words “Cyclone Michaung Red Alert”

Source: YouTube

But on December 5, 2023, Cyclone Michaung hit the coast of India and caused this incredible phenomenon.


Extreme Flooding Caused Immense Damage

The cyclone was considered a severe tropical storm, and the torrential waves and rainfall that came with the storm definitely felt severe to residents in southern India.

Waves crashing against the shore in Chennai, India

Source: Reddit

And it was the giant waves that essentially collected the Blue Buttons and Blue Sea Dragons from their home in the deep sea and washed them up on the sand by the hundreds.


Sea Creatures Aren’t the Only Problem on the Beach

Sadly, it wasn’t just the sea animals that arrived on India’s beautiful beaches after the cyclone, but also, an incredible amount of trash and plastic.

Residents walk the beach in Chennai, India, examining the trash

Source: Reddit

So while the local communities attempt to recover, rebuild, and remove venomous creatures from their beaches, they will also need to attack the mass amount of litter now covering their sandy paradise.


The Beach in Chennai Is No Stranger to Flooding

Cyclone Michaung was certainly an intense and horrific natural disaster, but the residents of Chennai are quite accustomed to tropical storms and extreme flooding.

Shuttered amusement park rides stand midst of flood waters on Marina Beach on November 10, 2021, in Chennai, India

Source: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images

And although experts report that previous flooding has beached a few of these little creatures, they’ve never seen hundreds of them as they do now.


Are There Plans to Remove the Animals from Chennai Beach?

So far, the local authorities in Chennai have not announced a plan to remove the hundreds of Blue Sea Dragons and Blue Buttons from the beaches.

Aerial view of Marina Beach in Chennai, India

Source: Wikipedia

But they are making it exceptionally clear through announcements in the media that people should not touch the animals, whether they are dead or alive.


A Rare and Dangerous Occurrence

Because these animals are so wildly interesting to look at and hard to find, it was certainly exciting for many biologists to be able to see Blue Sea Dragons and Blue Buttons on the sand.

Large and small Blue Sea Dragon floating in shallow water

Source: Reddit

However, this phenomenon was not only extremely dangerous for local residents of Chennai but also for the animals themselves, who died by the hundreds after being beached by the giant waves.