A second venomous sea snake has washed ashore in California. A deadly yellow-bellied sea snake was found in the Los Angeles area earlier this fall. The snakes do not normally pose a threat to humans because they rarely leave their ocean environment. The second sea serpent was found at Bolsa Chica State Beach by a group of environmentalists.
An environmental group aiming to help clean up beaches in California made a startling and scary discovery when they ran across a venomous yellow-bellied sea snake. The snake, also commonly referred to as an eel, was dead when it was found. The state park beach is approximately 30 miles south of Los Angeles. The only sighting of the snake prior to 2015 was on Thanksgiving Day in 1972, according to WHIO News.
Members of the Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation environmental group believe that unseasonably warm water temperatures caused by El Niño may have caused the venomous sea snake to come ashore.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 20, 2015
The deadly sea serpent found in the same region in October was found alive, but died shortly after it was found, despite efforts to sustain the snake.
“They can swim backward and forward and can stay underwater for up to three hours,” the Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation posted in the description of a YouTube about the rare find.”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.”
In their native habitat, the yellow-bellied sea snake dines on extremely small fish due to the dainty size of its mouth. Although the mouth size of the snake reportedly makes it difficult for a human to be subjected to a lethal dose of venom, wildlife experts still recommend giving even presumably dead sea serpents a wide berth.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Pelamis platura, the scientific name of the serpent, typically spends its entire life in the water and usually only winds up on land if it is dead or injured — or perhaps too weak from hunger to maneuver through the water in search of food.
— Drudge Report News (@Drudge_Report_) December 20, 2015
The snake boats bright scales in a colorful shade and subquadrangular in shape. The venomous sea snake typically has between 23 to 47 rows of scales on its hide. The serpents are always bicolored, but are not always black and yellow, as the ones found this year in California.
Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake Washes Ashore In California
The deadly snakes can also be brown and yellow in color. The males of the species can reach up to 28 inches long, and females can grow significantly longer, up to 35 inches long.
Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation chairman, Tony Soriano, said the 275 beach cleanup volunteers did not realize that type of snake they have stumbled across — or that it could be deadly. Soriano’s son Googled photos of seas snakes, and ultimately led the group to realize they had found a yellow-bellied sea snake and alerted wildlife authorities. Soriano kept the sea serpent in a Ziploc bag in his refrigerator until a staffer from the Museum of Natural History could come and collect the snake, KTLA reports.
The snake is not native to the waters surrounding California. Typically, the sea serpent lives off the coasts of Mexico, Australia, and Asia. The El Niño warmer water temperature may have pushed the snake to swim further north, museum officials believe.
What do you think about the discovery of the venomous yellow-bellied sea snake?
[Image via Shutterstock]