(GoRealNewsNow.com) – A bizarre-looking creature filmed swimming in South Carolina, which perplexed even wildlife officials, is hypothesized to be a “sea hare,” i.e., a species of sea slug.
You can watch a video about the creature at the bottom of this post.
The HuffPost reports that the odd animal was caught on video in the water near a bridge close to Pawleys Island, a barrier island on the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina.
The video that went viral on social media and was covered by local TV networks shows the creature swimming with what appears like wings, and it even seems to have something like a beak – even though it clearly isn’t a bird.
At first, officials from the Marine Resources Research Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, told NBC News station WLTX that their scientists could not say what kind of animal is seen in the video sent to the institute by a viewer.
“The people in my office are mostly stumped, but we’re not the experts,” commented an official with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in a report by WCNC, the NBC station in Charlotte, North Carolina.
At the same time, though, the station’s chief meteorologist, Brad Panovich, declared on the air that he had solved the mystery and could identify the bizarre animal.
“At first, I thought it was a cuttlefish,” he said.
However, he then figured out it was a critter, also known as a sea slug or a “sea hare.”
“They can be pretty large, and they do swim in the water like that,” Panovich declared.
The report points out another odd thing about the weird animal’s sighting – the sea hares usually do not live in the waters off South Carolina’s coast as they thrive in warmer areas.
“It’s more of a Florida and West Coast thing,” Panovich said.
At the same time, he said there had been sightings of the intriguing sea slugs as far north as Wilmington, North Carolina.
The report concludes that the sea hares appear to be moving further north due to the warming waters.
Here is the video: