Mystery creepy sea beast that looks like a lost eyeball dubbed ‘the spaghetti monster’ is washing up along Texas coast line and experts reveal why you should stay away


Experts are warning Texans to stay away from a mysterious sea beast washing up by the dozen along the coast after numerous reported sightings in recent weeks.

The unusual clusters have been spotted on the coastline outside Corpus Christi this month, making headlines for their bizarre eyeball-like appearance and fat ratty tail.

With reported sightings just in land from the Gulf of Mexico in recent days, experts are firmly advising people to stay away from the ominous eyeball-shaped critters, however, due to a deadly detail in their biology.

The so-called ‘spaghetti monsters’, or Rhizophysa, pack a punch ‘like their cousins, the man o’ war’, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said after a 2021 sighting.

It transpires the organisms are not actually a single animal at all, but a colony of carnivorous beings working together to hunt ocean prey as one.

‘If you see these floating up on the beach, just admire their creepy beauty,’ the institute said. ‘But don’t touch, unless you want to feel the pain of the eyeball from the sea.’

Experts are warning bystanders to not stand by as the clusters pack a strong punch
Experts are warning bystanders to not stand by as the clusters pack a strong punch

Jace Tunnell of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University found dozens of Rhizophysa stranded on the beach as reports flooded in.

He said the monsters have been washing up over the last three weeks along both Mustang and North Padre Islands in Corpus Christi, Texas.

‘This past weekend there was a large influx of them on the beach where I counted around 30 over along 100 metres of shoreline right at the water line,’ he said.

‘The creatures look like an eyeball stretched out on the beach.

‘Their gas-filled float at the top of the organism has a black dot that really does look like the pupil of an eye.

‘In some that we have found, they will have thick tentacles that hang down that look like spaghetti – hence how they have the nickname of spaghetti monster.’

Having experienced their sting personally, he warned that while it is not as violent as the Portuguese man o’ war’s attack, it does hurt for about an hour.

‘The spaghetti monsters live in the open ocean, so it’s not common to see them washing up here,’ he continued.

‘Only during the perfect conditions of winds, waves, and current do we see them around March and April.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department warned: ‘If you see these floating up on the beach, just admire their creepy beauty.

‘But don’t touch, unless you want to feel the pain of the eyeball from the sea.’

Siphonophores are a class of sea creatures that cluster as a colonial organism, emitting light to attract prey before pouncing with their tentilla.

Despite their relatively innocent appearance, they are predatory carnivores and live on crustaceans and small fish.

Their tentacles use powerful neurotoxins to snag prey, enveloping it in its cluster responsible for feeding, digesting it and dispersing it around the colony.

Siphonophores bear some similarities to jellyfish as a result, their group of Cnidaria evolving 500 million years ago and surviving with little pressure to adapt or complexity their lethal means of attack.

While those spotted near Texas are quite small, some much deeper in the ocean can grow as long as 100ft, making them some of the longest creatures on the planet.

Jace Tunnell of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University found dozens of Rhizophysa stranded on the beach as reports flooded in
Jace Tunnell of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University found dozens of Rhizophysa stranded on the beach as reports flooded in
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department warned: 'If you see these floating up on the beach, just admire their creepy beauty.'
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department warned: ‘If you see these floating up on the beach, just admire their creepy beauty.’

In 2021, a young child was left in pain after he was stung by a ‘spaghetti monster’ at Mustang Island State Park.

Jennifer Baltazar says her son was attacked by one of the creatures while swimming.

She said young Rogelio ‘came running from the ocean and said he was stung by something’.

‘He said it stung and burned a lot, and he was in moderate pain for about 20 minutes.’

She said she noticed ‘these strange jellies’ and contacted Jace Tunnell, who said it was likely her son had been stung by a Rhizophysa.

‘I’ve never seen these things wash up before,’ he said at the time.

This article by James Reynolds was first published by The Daily Mail on 28 March 2024. Lead Image: A creepy seabeast that looks like a disembodied eyeball and delivers a painful sting has been washing up by the dozen on the Texas coast.

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