Another Creepy Sea Serpent Washes Ashore in Southern California, and El Niño May Be to Blame
A venomous sea snake has washed onto a California beach for the second time in two months, and experts believe this odd occurrence could be due to El Niño.
This time, the rare sighting happened last week in Huntington Beach, when a group discovered the yellow-bellied serpent during a coastal cleanup event, the Los Angeles Times reported. The 27-inch-long snake was dead when it was spotted, the report added.
The other encounter with a sea snake happened in October along a Ventura County beach, the L.A. Times also reported. It died shortly after being removed from the beach in a rescue attempt by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This marks only the third time in several decades that the reptile has been spotted on California`s shores, Canada Journal reported, and there`s a good chance that El Niño had an influence in this year`s pair of sightings. After all, the beaches of Southern California are hundreds of miles from these creatures` natural habitat, the L.A. Times said.
“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,” said the Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation in a Facebook post.
The foundation told KTLA.com they`ve also seen more sharks swimming near the coastline, as well as millions of tiny red crabs coming ashore and seal pups stranded and starving from lack of food. All of these strange animal behaviors may be a result of the warm El Niño waters in the Pacific Ocean, the foundation suggested.
Experts warned bystanders to stay away from the yellow-bellied sea snakes if they spot one on the shoreline in the coming months, as they are quite venomous.
It looks like El Niño is bringing more than just the rain!