Earlier this year, the large rotting carcass of an enormous sea animal appeared in Indonesia. Locals were baffled by the animal's sudden emergence and naturally, so were people online. But what became mysteriously known as the "Indonesian sea monster" has a rival in an another bizarre creature that washed ashore in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Initially dubbed the "mystery eel," the fanged, rotting fish which appeared to have no eyes was spotted by Preeti Desai, a social media manager at the National Audubon Society.
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Desai, who was on the beach in Texas City, Texas, "to document the effects of the hurricane on birds and their habitats," summoned the help of experts on Twitter to identify the animal. Initially, some intriguing theories surfaced, suggesting that maybe the serpentine beast was actually an extraterrestrial creature or maybe that horrible monster from the movie Tremors. (It wasn't).
Luckily, real scientists came to the rescue. Dr Kenneth Tighe, an amphibians and reptiles specialist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., deduced the animal was a fang-tooth snake eel. Tighe told Earth Touch News: "All three of these species occur off Texas and have large fang-like teeth. Too bad you can't clearly see the tip of the tail. That would differentiate between the ophichthid and the congrids.” While she inadvertently conjured a viral a mystery, Desai detailed the rest of her conservation and relief efforts with the Audubon Society on the organization's website.
And with the fanged eel dutifully identified by a credentialed expert, you'll have to remain satisfied with other horrors of the ocean deep. Don't worry, there are plenty.
[h/t Washington Post]
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