Rare Venomous Sea Snake Found Ashore California Due to El Nino

Warmer waters and ocean currents are bringing venomous sea snakes to California's shore. Rob Forbes of Oxnard,Ca. took pictures of a sea snake that washed ashore Friday. Scientists say as El Nino continues there will be more sightings in the next few weeks.

A rare black sea snake with yellow-belly lining was found in California beach by an environmental group.

The group only wanted to help clean the beaches of California when they were shocked to discover a venomous yellow-bellied sea snake out of water.

It was in Bolsa Chica State Beach this time when Surfrider Foundation members discovered the sea snake. The beach was about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. But this is not the first time the snake was found in California as it was also spotted twice with the first time in 1970s and the second earlier this year.

According to the environmental group, it is likely that the snake washed up ashore because of the warming waters associated with the ongoing El Nino. “They can swim backward and forward and can stay underwater for up to three hours.”

“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,” they added on a video post in Youtube.

However, the snake was already dead when it was found.

The second time the same snake species was found was back in October this year. It was in another beach in Southern California that time and the snake was found alive before it died eventually.

According to the assistant curator if herpetology at the Natural Museum of Los Angeles County Greg Pauly, it is very rare and unlikely that humans will get a lethal dose of venom from these snakes because its mouth is very small making it usually prey on small aquatic animals like fishes. But he still warned people to keep their distance from the snake.

The sea snake is native to tropical waters, but warmer aquatic temperature could mean that there will be more snakes in the region.

Paul told ABC News that they were somehow expecting this “rare event, but it was also somewhat predictable given that we are currently experiencing a fairly dramatic El Nino year.”

Source: abcnews.go.com