Mysterious sea creature that washed up on beach after Harvey identified

Biologist says creature possibly fangtoothed snake-eel

(Image via Twitter/Preeti Desai)

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?"

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, 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. 



About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.