News

Hurricane Harvey washed up a weird, creepy sea creature that science geeks are nerding over

What IS it?

By: Jessica Chandra

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas at the end of August, the results were devastating. At least 70 people have died from the natural disaster, many families were displaced and lost their homes, and the damage costs have amounted to $180 billion. It was so huge that 130 million people were affected, from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.

There’s still so much to be done as people try to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. But among the wreckage, there have been some interesting discoveries.

Like this v. weird sea creature that was found washed up on the shores of a Texas City beach:

Preeti Desai, a self-proclaimed science nerd from the National Audobon Society, put a call out on Twitter to see if any fellow marine biology nerds could help identify what it. Based on the photos, it doesn’t have eyes, had a cylindrical body, a long tail, and razor sharp teeth.

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

“On first glance it looked like something from the deep sea to me,” Preeti told the Daily Mail. “My initial thought was it might be a sea lamprey, but when I got close I realised 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.”

(BTW, sea lampreys are super strange. Click here to see.)

After getting feedback from people on Twitter, Preeti and social media biologists came to the conclusion that the creature she found must be some kind of snake-ee from the family Opichthidae.

Well, that’s one mystery solved for now.