Thanks To El Niño, Poisonous Sea Snakes Are Washing Up On California’s Beaches

This year’s El Niño season is expected to bring some much needed rain to the Southern California area but L.A’s drought is no longer the main concern for residents as SNAKES ARE INVADING OUR BEACHES! Okay, that was a bit dramatic, but according to a report from CNN, the rising ocean temperatures have driven some poisonous sea snakes into uncharted waters. Last week, the yellow bellied sea snake — or Pelamis platura as the scientists like to call it — was spotted at least twice on the California coast: once in Oxnard and more notably, in Malibu.

According to Heal the Bay, this is the first appearance of the venomous snake in California since 1980, which took place during another El Niño storm season. The serpent species in question has been commonly found in Baja California and Central America, where the climate is more tropical. Still, this may be a sign of things to come for us Angelinos as heavy rains are allegedly in our near future.

As for the snake found in Malibu, the little guy didn’t survive very long after it was discovered on the beach. It has since been transported to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County which will be “preserving the animal and will make it available for further research.”

With the warmer water temperatures coming to Southern California, it’s very possible there will be more sightings of the yellow bellied species. In an attempt at understanding how the sea snakes react to these El Nino conditions, scientists are requesting photos of future discoveries to be shared with the Natural History Museum online by using the hashtag #NatureInLA.

(Via CNN)