A mysterious creature has been found washed up on a Texas beach, and man, is it horrifying!
Spotted by Twitter user and photographer Preet Desai, the long-dead carcass looks like that Ellen Ripley should be ejecting out an airlock in an Alien movie.
Although the creature created intense speculation at first, experts have reached out on Twitter to give their opinions.
Hard to tell given position and decomposition, but teeth and body shape makes me think some kind of eel. @SolomonRDavid?— Andrew Thaler (@DrAndrewThaler) September 6, 2017
One even agrees with the xenomorph theory, but it’s likely that the poor critter is just some sort of eel – a fangtooth snake-eel, to be precise.
I'd agree, could be some sort of eel; but not a moray, given it appears to have had pectoral fins. OR aquatic xenomorph...— Dr. Solomon David (@SolomonRDavid) September 7, 2017
Desai, meanwhile, has been quick to defend the unfortunate fish, reiterating that it’s neither massive nor terrifying.
Hey guys, so this thing wasn't frightening, wasn't colossal, and wasn't a monster. It was just a damn sea creature trying to live its life. https://t.co/r3AeFYzLjJ— Preeti Desai (@preetalina) September 13, 2017
According to Fishbase, fangtooth snake-eels are found at depths of between 33 to 91m, and aren't a threat to humans. It's found around the Gulf of Mexico, which could be why this potential specimen whashed up where it did.