A fanged sea creature with no eyes washed up on a beach in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

SEA CREATURE FOUND IN TEXAS

The creature was found rotting on a beach near Houston after it was washed ashore by the flooding that took place during the tropical megastorm. Conservation group the National Audubon Society found it and posted its photos to social media in the hopes that someone would be able to identify it. “Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this?? Found on a beach in Texas City, Texas. #wildlife,” wrote Preeti Desai, the National Audubon Society’s social media manager.

“This is the kind of thing that’s perfect for Twitter — there are so many scientists and researchers on the platform and they’re very willing to jump in and figure out things like this,” Desai explained in an interview. “So I put the photos out there and the guesses started coming in.” The species has not yet been confirmed, but some experts and enthusiasts believe it is a fangtooth snake-eel. “One of the first few guesses suggested some sort of eel,” she continued. “I mentally smacked my forehead, because once that was suggested I could absolutely see the eel shape. But when I think of an eel, I think of it in the ocean, hiding among coral or rocks, so I hadn’t made the connection while I’d been on the beach.”

Of finding the creature, Desai said she was curious to determine its species. “I’ve already got a huge interest in wildlife, especially birds and ocean creatures, but it was so unexpected to see it there on the beach,” she said. “On first glance it looked like something from the deep sea to me. My initial thought was it might be a sea lamprey but when I got close I realized there was no way that was what it was, particularly based on the mouth. We squished it around a bit, and even turned it over but couldn’t come up with any other ideas.”

Many have called it a beast or monster, but Desai wants followers to know that it was neither. “Hey guys, so this thing wasn’t frightening, wasn’t colossal, and wasn’t a monster. It was just a damn sea creature trying to live its life,” she tweeted later.

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