TEXAS CITY, Texas – Photos of a mysterious sea creature that washed up on a Texas beach after Hurricane Harvey have gone viral.
The photos were posted on Twitter on Sept. 6 by Preeti Desai, a social media manager at the National Audubon Society.
Desai captioned the photos by saying, "Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this?"
Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this?? Found on a beach in Texas City, TX. #wildlifeid pic.twitter.com/9IUuuL65qh— Preeti Desai🌿 (@preetalina) September 6, 2017
Preeti said she spotted the creature on a beach about 15 miles outside Galveston.
She traveled to Texas with other conservationists to assess the damage from the storm.
The photos immediately went viral and garnered several responses from her followers and others on social media.
Desai told BBC News someone told her to contact Kenneth Tighe, a museum specialist who works in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Tighe said he believed the creature was a fangtooth snake-eel, or possibly a garden or conger eel, according to the BBC News article.
Tighe told Earth Touch News Network those eel species occur off the Texas coast and live in burrows 100-300 feet down.
Desai did not say how long or big the creature was but according to Fishbase.org, a male fangtooth snake-eel can reach a maximum total length of 84 centimeters.
After taking the photos, Desai told BBC News that she left the creature alone to let nature take its course.
She tweeted on Wednesday that the creature wasn’t frightening, colossal or a monster, just a sea creature trying to live its life.