A “mystery creature” found at Padre Island National Seashore has left researchers at the beach a bit confused. They say they can’t tell if it’s a snake, eel or a combination of both.
On Monday, PINS shared a picture on its Facebook page of the animal a visitor found at its beach. The beach-goer sent a photo to PINS, and at first, researchers stated in the post that they thought the long, skinny creature might be a Texas blind snake, which looks like an earthworm.
“Given all the coastal flooding that has been occurring, we thought this might be a pretty good guess,” PINS wrote.
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However, after looking at the picture more, PINS said the body structure of the creature resembled an eel more than a snake, which led the researchers to believe it may have been a snake eel.
Snake eels are known as burrowing eels and often hide in mud or sand to catch their prey, which is typically small fish or crustaceans, PINS wrote. Sometimes, snake eels can mimic the coloring of venomous sea snakes to deter predators, and are often washed ashore by large storms, the post noted.
PINS wrote that its team still doesn’t know what the creature is, even after “endlessly researching” eels and snake eels that might live in the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas coast. But, for now, PINS wrote that it is sticking with snake eel.
“What do you think it might be?” PINS asked its Facebook followers.
Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre