Mysterious Fanged Creature Found On Texas Beach In Harvey’s Aftermath

Awoman who found a faceless and fanged creature that washed up on a Texas beach after Hurricane Harvey asked the Internet what it was, prompting lots of guesses as well as much recoiling at the sight of the ferocious-looking beast.

Fanged creature found on Texas beach after Hurricane Harvey - BBC News

“Yes the flood water is ‘walkable’ UNTIL THIS THING BRUSHES MY LEG,” wrote one woman in a tweet she titled, “Reason 567,879 to get the hell out of the city when a hurricane is coming.”

Preeti Desai, who is a social media manager at the National Audubon Society, found the mysterious monster Sept. 6 on the sand not far from Galveston. Desai was in the Lone Star State with a group of people assessing the damage after Harvey spun through the region, according to The Washington Post.

“Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this??” she wrote on the social media site. “Found on a beach in Texas City, TX.”

Soon after she posted her query, the answers came flooding in.


“It looks like something from a horror movie,” wrote another person. “A monster from deep space,” posted another. Other guesses included “prehistoric sea creature!” and the always handy “chupacabra.” One person speculated that it was a “deformed dolphin.”

Among the otherworldly responses, however, came some decidedly more down-to-earth speculation that pointed to the fact that the creature was some kind of eel.

One person who responded said it was the “remnant of skin coloration, the body and head shape, the teeth and the shape of the jaw,” that led a scientist at San Diego’s own Scripps Institution of Oceanography to come up with the answer.

Ben Frable, an ichthyologist who is the collection manager of fishes at the famed institution, identified the creature as a fangtooth snake-eel — also known as a “tusky” eel or aplatophis chauliodus, which translates, not so surprisingly, as “terrible serpent.”

Mysterious creature washes ashore on Texas City beach, Twitter flares with theories

According to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the fish has a stout body that grows to about three-feet long and has elongated jaws with “very large fangs extending outside its mouth when closed.”

It also does have eyes, albeit very small ones, which can’t be seen in the photos because they have desiccated.

Dr. Kenneth Tighe of the Smithsonian National Museum of History told Earth Touch News Network that fangtooth snake-eels live at depths of up to 300 feet in the waters from the Gulf of Mexico to French Guiana.

He also added that the fish might be a “Bathyuroconger vicinus or Xenomystax congroides,” but that it was hard to tell without clearly seeing the tip of the creature’s tail.

Scientists Identify Mysterious Fanged 'Sea Monster' Beached In Texas By Hurricane Harvey

Whatever the official name of the scary-looking creature, its presence on the beach certainly resulted in “15 minutes of fame,” as Desai put it, for one of earth’s reclusive inhabitants. She quipped that the famous fish would soon need an agent.

“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,” wrote Desai on Twitter on Wednesday.

To that, one woman replied, “I keep saying we need to look for a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s in the ocean not space! Crazy stuff lives down there!”


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