As a frequent visitor of Port Bolivar Beach in Galveston Bay, Suzanne Choate Arceneaux said she’s used to coming across a multitude of animals, dead or alive, on the shore.
She likes to visit after a storm passes through when she can find an array of stingrays, jellyfish, pelicans, seagulls and more along the sand.
Although Arceneaux is adept at finding the unexpected during her treks, nothing could’ve prepared her for the strange sea creature that appeared on Jan. 4.
“I had never seen anything like this before...,” Arceneaux said.
This unusual eel-like creature had a long, slender body, sharp teeth in a large, open mouth, short and stout fins and beady eyes.
In hopes that someone may be able to help her identify it, Arceneaux posted photos of the creature to a Facebook group called Bolivar Beachcombers.
One Facebook user said, “That’s a fish straight outta the depths from hell.”
Another said it’s “the sand worm from ‘Beatlejuice.’”
After much speculation, Arceneaux said she was told it was a snapper eel and that they “usually don’t end up washed up on shore.”
According to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, snapper eels can grow up to 180 centimeters, or up to nearly six feet long. They’re carnivores and typically feed on shrimps, crabs or bony fish.
KSAT 12 has reached out to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for further identification of the sea creature. We’ll add more updates to this story as they become available.