618px Glaucus atlanticus 1 cropped

Maggie Koerth-Baker actually called this thing “pretty” for some reason. It looks hideous to me. Probably for good reason, too, because this thing is poisonous. But it’s not born with venom:

You see all those pointy bits Glaucus atlanticus? According to the Natural History Museum, those are called cerata. They are the organs where G. atlanticus stores the stinging cells that it steals from the jellyfish it eats.

Because it eats jellyfish. And not just any jellyfish—but Portuguese Man o’ War jellyfish. G. atlanticus eats the jellyfish tentacles and, as part of the process of digestion, stores stinging cells from those tentacles in the tips of its cerata. Then G. atlanticus gets to be venomous, too.

Damn, Nature! You scary!

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