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Sep 14, 2017
The aftermath of natural disasters such as typhoons and hurricanes is never a pretty sight.
While it's expected that people would have to face the ruins that followed the recent Hurricane Harvey, many weren't prepared for this mysterious sea creature found washed up on a Texas beach.
A US woman, Preeti Desai, found the decaying creature on a beach in Texas City, and took to Twitter on Sept 6 to seek answers.
— Preeti Desai (@preetalina) September 6, 2017
She posted several photos of the bizarre-looking "fish" and tweeted: "Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this?"
The dead animal looks eyeless, has a tail and sports a mouth full of sharp teeth.
Desai told DailyMail.com: "This is the kind of thing that's perfect for Twitter - there are so many scientists and researchers on the platform and they're very willing to jump in and figure out things like this."
And indeed, she got what she asked for.
Biomechanist Adam P. Summers' reply to her tweet drew one of the most-liked comments on Twitter.
Quoting a fellow Twitter user and ichthyologist (a person who studies fish science) Ben Frable, he said: "It is an Ophichthid eel called a tusky eel (Aplatophis chauliodus)"
Well, @Frable has IDed this thing. It is an Ophichthid eel called a tusky eel (Aplatophis chauliodus)
— Adam P. Summers (@Fishguy_FHL) September 7, 2017
He is probably right.
According to the BBC, Desai's request for answers was also passed on to biologist and eel specialist Dr Kenneth Tighe, who believes the "sea monster" is a fangtooth snake-eel.
Desai, who told the BBC that she follows "a lot of scientists and researchers" on Twitter, said she was at the beach assessing the damage from the hurricane.
She also added that she left the eel on the beach "to let nature take its course".
Once again, the internet proved that sometimes it really does have all the answers.