Plenty of strange and fanciful creatures have been invented within the long tradition of lore and mythology, but few real-life beings have been so aptly named after one of those from fiction.
Meet the blue dragon — probably among the most beautiful animals on the planet. And he's a sea slug, no less.
They may be a bit more diminutive than their namesake counterparts are imagined, measuring in at just over an inch fully grown, but this species is no less fearsome. Blue dragons ( Glaucus atlanticus) spend their lives floating upside down in warm ocean currents, attacking their prey with a powerful venom from their wing-like appendages. Their sting is so deadly, in fact, that they're known to take down other venomous marine animals, like the Portuguese man-o-war.
While blue dragons are said to be quite rarely seen by humans, the beautiful, fierce little mollusk was caught on camera just last week after washing ashore on a beach in Queensland, Australia — offering a fleeting glimpse of one of Earth's prettiest inhabitants.