It had a long tail, appeared to have no eyes, and had numerous sharp teeth.
Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath showed the devastation it has brought on Texas. The Hurricane has left hundreds of people with practically nothing after destroying their houses, and even taking lives in the process. However, something bizarre has caught the attention the locals.
While many deep-sea animals seek safety in the deep ocean during a storm, some marine mammals, such as manatees and dolphins, may be washed ashore or into unfamiliar habitats. However, this creature baffled many after it washed ashore after Hurricane Harvey’s attack.
One woman posted several photos of the bizarre-looking “fish” and tweeted: “Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this?”
The dead animal looks eyeless, has a tail and sports a mouth full of sharp teeth.
Preeti Desai, who said she had accompanied conservationists assessing the damage from the storm, told DailyMail.com: “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.”
And indeed, she got what she asked for.
Biomechanist Adam P. Summers’ reply to her tweet drew one of the most-liked comments on Twitter. Quoting a fellow Twitter user and ichthyologist (a person who studies fish science) Ben Frable, he said: “It is an Ophichthid eel called a tusky eel (Aplatophis chauliodus).”
Kenneth Tighe, an eel expert, told Earth Touch News that the creature was most likely a fangtooth snake-eel, or Aplatophis chauliodus.
Fangtooth snake-eels live in burrows 100 to 300 feet down in waters stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to French Guiana, “with only snout and eyes exposed, darting to feed on other fishes and crustaceans,” according to FishBase, an online database for fish species.
Though the animal has been identified by experts, people on social media were still interested in—and spooked by—the sea creature.