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‘Strange animal’ was discovered on a Washington beach is ‘incredibly rare’ find

The mysterious sea creature was identified as a Pacific snake-eel.
(Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium)

Last week, marine experts at the Sea Aquarium fielded a call about a bizarre sea creature found buried in the sand of a beach in Long Beach, Washington.

While it is not surprising to receive calls about “strange animals,” the aquarium, one of the oldest of the West Coast recognized that what they found was far from normal. After doing some digging, the crew discovered the snake-like fish, and as they cleared the sand that clung to the skin, they were “surprised” to find, it was a Pacific snake-eel.

“[It is] an animal that has never been seen on the Washington Coast,” the Sea Aquarium, that declared it is a part of the Washington/Northern Oregon marine mammal Stranding Network, announced online Friday.

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A woman by the name of Candace Woodbury discovered the sea being at a considerable distance from the water.

The dryness of the fish relates to the aquarium, but at that time was still alive.

This particular kind of eel “has never been seen on the Washington Coast,” says Sea Aquarium.
(Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium)

“These fish are usually found at a depth between 25 metres and 500 metres,” Seaside explained, adding that the “remarkable” the fish was still breathing.

Unfortunately, the eel was in no shape to return to the sea. Instead, a team of biologists decided to bring it back to the Oregon-based aquarium.

“The eel is currently in isolation in a tank in which we’re slowly warming up of the earth to make the eel more comfortable,” the aquarium said. “There is some damage on the pectoral fins that we hope will heal.”

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The eel is currently recuperating at the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon.
(Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium)

Pacific snake-eels spotted life in the waters of Peru, in the north of California, according to the private aquarium. A top biologist in the area told the Chinook Observer, the recent find was very unusual.

“While Pacific snake eels have been documented from both OR and WA they are incredibly rare this far north,” Daniel J. Kamikawa, a research fisheries biologist with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), told the newspaper. “The bulk of their distribution is evident from middle-and south-CA in the south to Peru and consists of the Gulf of California. We had a dead run by a beachcomber here in Newport a few years back and we had a washed up on the beach. They are not in my book, because they are incredibly rare north of Point Conception, CA and in waters outside the 20 meters.”

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