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Why Are Venomous Sea Snakes Washing Up on California Beaches?

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A beachgoer got quite the slithery surprise when a 20-inch-long (50 centimeters) venomous sea snake washed ashore at Coronado Dog Beach near San Diego Tuesday (Jan. 12).

The yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platura) is very uncommon in California, but three (including this latest sighting) have washed ashore in Southern California in the past few months.

The beachgoer who found the yellow-bellied sea snake Tuesday alerted lifeguards to the serpent at around 2:30 p.m. local time, according to a statement from the city of Coronado. They placed the lethargic snake in a bucket, but just like the other snakes of that species that have washed up recently on California beaches, it died soon afterward. The snake has since been turned over to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Usually found in the tropical parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, including the western coast of Central America, Hawaii, Japan, and the eastern coast of Africa, these snakes have striking yellow bellies that serve as warning signals to other animals that they are venomous, meaning they inject a toxic substance when they bite a person or other animal. No human deaths have ever been reported as a result of P. platura. [See Photos of Snakes from Around the World]

Greg Pauly, assistant curator of herpetology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, previously told Live Science that yellow-bellied sea snakes pose little threat to humans because their venom, fangs and small mouth size are better suited to smaller prey, such as tiny fish. Still, officials and experts advise people to keep their distance if they come across one of these snakes.



There is obviously something terribly wrong with the Pacific Ocean and none of the "experts" want to talk about what it is, they are coming up with all kinds of bs and most won't even acknowledge the issues with Fukushima.  These snakes are not supposed to be seen in that location.  The last time anyone saw one was in 1972.  Add up all the dead birds, whales beaching themselves en masse and other marine life die offs, something is going on! They are sick when they wash up (the snakes) because they are lethargic and die shortly after they're found beached.

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