For the second time this month a massive, creepy eel is captivating the internet after washing up on a Texas beach.
The 4-foot long American eel, discovered by Jace Tunnel of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, is “as big as they get.”
Tunnell shared video of the fish on Facebook as part of his beachcombing series on the Mission-Aransas Reserve page. The video series shows Tunnel encountering exotic creatures on Mustang Island.
“A lot of people think they’re snakes,” Tunnel said in his video about the eel. “No, they’re a fish, just a real interesting fish.”
According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, the longest American eel found in the Lonestar State was 42 inches.
Here’s what else we know about the creepy fish:
- Females can grow up to 4 feet in length while males only reach 1.5 feet in length.
- They are covered with a mucous layer, making them very slick.
- They hunt at night, feeding on crustaceans, small insects, worms and other fish
- Their life cycle starts in freshwater.
- They breathe through their skin, allowing the eels to travel over land and move around barriers in streams.
- They swim out into the ocean to spawn 4 million eggs before dying.
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‘Straight out of the depths from hell’
Earlier this month, the Star-Telegram reported Suzanne Choate Arceneaux encountered a similar-looking snapper eel along the shore of Galveston Bay.
Arceneaux shared pictures of the fish in a Facebook post with its mouth wide open exposing sharp teeth.
Here’s what to know about snapper eels:
Dozens of people have commented on Arceneaux’s post including some who said it resembled the sandworm creatures from the movies “Tremors” and “Beetlejuice.”
“That’s a ‘hell naw’ fish if I’ve ever seen one,” one person joked.
Another commenter wrote, “That’s a fish straight outta the depths from hell.”
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.