PADRE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE, Texas – A mystery sea creature washed up on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) on Monday.
Someone visiting the beach noticed it and sent a photo to PINS officials who started trying to figure out what the creature might be.
Turns out - the results are inconclusive.
“Initially, we thought it might be a Texas blind snake which looks very similar to earthworms and often show up when their habitat floods,” officials said in a Facebook post. “Given all the coastal flooding that has been occurring, we thought this might be a pretty good guess.”
But the more they studied the photo “the more the body structure seemed more like that of an eel.”
PINS officials then discovered that there’s something called a snake-eel which they said is a type of burrowing eel that hides in mud and sand to catch prey like small fish or crustaceans.
“Sometimes they can mimic the coloring of venomous sea snakes to deter predators and are often washed up by large storms,” officials said in the Facebook post.
With Hurricane Delta currently in the Gulf, this could be a likely scenario.
However, “after endlessly researching eels and snake eels that might live in the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas coast, we have concluded that we still don’t know exactly what this mystery creature might be,” PINS officials said.
They’re sticking with snake eel for now.