If a rare sea serpent washes ashore for the first time in 30 years then you might consider yourself lucky to make the sighting. But considering that this is the second Southern California sighting of the highly venomous yellow-bellied sea snake in recent times, you almost have to wonder what is causing these rare sea serpents to show up in such abundance. Experts are already blaming the weather, saying that it’s the El Nino weather pattern which is causing these sea serpents to be found.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, if you find a rare oarfish dead on your beaches, then some scientists believe the sighting may be used to predict California earthquakes.
Before 2015, the last time a rare sea serpent washed ashore was back during the early 1980’s, which also happened to occur during an El Nino weather phase. The first yellowed-bellied sea snake sighting occurred back in October of this year. A non-profit environmental advocacy group called Heal The Bay announced the discovery, noting there was “no need to panic” even though the exotic species was also “incredibly venomous.”
“The Yellow-bellied Sea Snake has some of the most poisonous venom in the world, and is a descendant from Asian cobras and Australian tiger snakes,” stated the Facebook post by Heal the Bay’s senior coastal policy manager, Dana Murray.
Obviously, manhandling the yellow-bellied sea snake is not advisable, but Heal The Bay stated that the public could help in other ways. Their post noted that scientists everyone’s help to confirm this very rare sighting.
“Do take as many photos as possible, with a cell phone, camera, whatever you have available to you. Do try and get accurate location information. Ideally GPS data would be the best possible option, but any and all location information is greatly appreciated,” explained Heal The Bay. “Your data will be used to confirm this El Nino as the first time in 30 years this fascinating animal has been in our waters. The information you provide could be published in scientific journals, in which your sighting will be mentioned as well as your name if you desire.”
So, if a rare sea serpent washes ashore in front of you, then be sure to whip out those smartphone cameras. According to KTLA, Anna Iker is credited with making the first sighting and she also managed to snap a photo. Iker said she spotted the sea serpent on Silver Strand Beach near Oxnard, but it washed out to sea shortly after her picture was taken.
A day later, Robert Forbes said he spotted another yellow-bellied sea snake on the same beach, so it’s believed it was probably the same sea creature. Forbes called the California wildlife department, but unfortunately the serpent had already died by time they arrived. In any case, the specimen was taken to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles.
The most recent sighting was made by some of the 275 volunteers who showed up to clean the sandy beaches as part of the Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation. Tony Soriano, the foundation’s chairman, said the dead sea serpent was kept in a Ziploc bag until they realized what the creature was and how dangerous it could be.
“That’s a rare find,” he said. “We had no clue what we had.”
Soriano called the Museum of Natural History and they sent the museum’s assistant curator to pick up the new sample. The foundation’s Facebook post also explained why the El Nino weather pattern could cause so many sightings of the rare sea serpent in California.
“These yellow-bellied sea snakes live their entire lives on the warmer coasts of Mexico, Africa, Asia and Australia. They can swim backward and forward and can stay underwater for up to three hours,” the Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation stated. “There is belief that the El Niño temperature change could have enticed the creature to swim north in search of small fish and eels, which they use their venom to paralyze.”
[Image via Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation/Facebook]