In June, Andrea Jud stumbled upon a washed-up sea creature on a beach at Gabr el-Bint on the Sinai Peninsula. The corpse Jud found was dried out and 40 feet from the water. It appeared to have two sets of jaws. Jud was camping with her friends along the coast of Dahab, Egypt, and found the unusual specimen during a morning hike.
“I didn’t touch it. Just looking at it made me feel uneasy…It looked like a Lord of the Rings orc,” she told the Daily Mail. “There was an opening further back on the head where one would suspect the ears, but it might have been the gills. My initial impression was that it was a being who suffered a rather horrible death. I couldn’t figure out what kind of creature it was.”
Found at the Red Sea, as big as my arm. Sorry for the gruesome content.
Posted by Andrea Jud on Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Jud took to social media to try to figure out what her find actually was. She made a post in a marine creature identification Facebook group. “[I] found this [near] the Red Sea,” she wrote. “[It was] as big as my arm. Sorry for the gruesome content.”
Though some members of the Facebook group jokingly suggested that it was a “baby loch ness monster” or “Voldemort,” most said that it was a moray eel. Field & Stream reached out to an expert to confirm the species. According to National Aquarium Director of Dive Programs Holly Bourbon, the sea creature appears to be a moray eel, most likely a viper moray, a species found in the Red Sea.
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According to Fish Base, viper moray eels can reach lengths of up to 39 inches. The viper moray is a species of saltwater eel that inhabit the Western Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions. They are often found on shallow reefs and along rocky shores. They’re considered to be harmless to humans.