Imagine Seeing This 30-Foot Sea Snake in the Open Ocean — Gulp!

Imagine this for a minute. You’re a time-traveling explorer going on another adventure in your time capsule. Unfortunately, your capsule is defective, and by a stroke of bad luck, you find yourself stuck on the coast of Morocco during the Eocene Epoch. You’re trying to determine the year, and your time map indicates it’s about 33.9 million years into the past.

Luckily, the issue with your ship is minor, and your partner volunteers to fix it quickly. While waiting for your partner to fix the ship, you take a quick dip in the prehistoric ocean to cool off. After a while of enjoying a swim in the cold prehistoric sea, you discover you’re not alone. There’s a giant 30-foot sea snake in the water, and it’s coming for you—gulp!

Of course, the chances of the above scenario happening are unlikely. But if you ever find yourself in a time capsule, avoid going for a swim as you might end up face-to-face with one of the largest snakes ever known, the 30-foot sea snake known as the Paleophis.

Paleophis is an extinct genus of marine snakes from the Eocene Epoch. The name of this genus translates as “ancient snake,” which is fitting considering the age of the reptile. This marine reptile lived in aquatic environments in various locations worldwide.

This snake belongs to the Palaeophiinae (Palaeophiidae) family. Little is known about this subfamily of snakes. Records show that the genus and others within the same family lived from the Late Cretaceous to the Late Eocene. This was approximately 70.6–33.9 million years ago.

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