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Rare Sights On Grand Bahama Island! A Sharptail Eel

Updated on January 8, 2009

What a Rare Treat!

 This past fall while on vacation to Grand Bahama Island, I saw quite a few interesting fish in the water. Fish I never even knew existed in such large abundance in the wild.

The beauty within the waters are plentiful, and a treat to the eyes, a relaxation to the mind, and the things I saw forever captured in memory... and of course on film.

While floating the waters at Fortuna Beach, no less that 10 feet out I spotted the coolest thing I had ever seen.

It seemed to be a snake due to the fact that it didn't have a head the way eels usually do. It freaked me out at first because I had no idea what I was looking at, I snapped some photos and hoped that perhaps the instructor over at the dive shack could fill me in on exactly what this thing was.

It was brown, with beautiful yellow/white spotsall over it's body. It had the head of a snake, but with itty whiskers. This was no catfish though, because the whiskers were not the type you would imagine on a cat fish. They were small, but very easy to spot.

I didn't want to get too close because seeing that I had o clue what it was, I imagined this thing could be poisonous.

I took my photos to the dive instructor, and oddly enough he had never in his life seen such a thing.

I knew then what I had spotted was quite rare.

I was intrigued. I had to find out what it was so naturally I took my search online. Without knowing the things name, I googled everything from water snake, to saltwater snake... and of course eel.

It literately took me hours to find exactly what this beautiful thing was. Finally the answer was right in front of me, a Sharptail Eel.

Sharptail Eels are not poisonous to humans, and you can even handle them in the water.

They are though in fact pretty rare to spot, and mostly common Panama. I felt pretty privileged to learn that I had seen something that normally doesn't travel in the Bahamas.

I also felt pretty privileged knowing that I got to spot the Sharptail Eel on my 3rd day there. There are some divers who dive all of the time and never have gotten the opportunity to actually see one.

 figured seeing that photos of the Sharptail are stretched far and wide, I'd share mine with the rest of the world.

Pretty fantastic wouldn't you say?


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      Paul 5 years ago

      My mom and I went snorkeling today in Barbados it was a baby and was only about 11" long it was scary at first then was very interesting

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      Ron 6 years ago

      They attack me, when I try to cach, Grand Bahamas , Freeport

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      Edvardo 7 years ago

      I saw one too last week in Cocoa Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

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      MellaView 8 years ago

      So neat!!!! Its so rare to spot one, so glad you got to see this rare beauty. Nice to know you dont have to fear it either. I saw another one this year in the same location, must be a family of them that frequent the grand bahama west end.

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      Laura 8 years ago

      We went to St. Maarten on a snorkel excursion the last week of October 2009, and I captured a few shots of one. Thanks for helping up out with identifying the eel.

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      HEY 8 years ago

      COOL!!!! I was scared too, I thought they were poisonous. Theyre just bottom feeders though, no harm no foul. Glad you got to see them! Its a rare sight to see them.

      I am actually heading back to the wyndham in 2 weeks, so I hope to spot it again.

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      Claudia 8 years ago


      i did see two too, in fortuna breach, last week ( in viva wyndham) , almost were the complex ares is finish . Opposite way to spor-house is located.

      i was doin snorking for first time , waters were very clear that day , and first i saw a little one , getting into its hole very near of seashore, almost 50 cm of deep water!!!

      and secon one i saw was a little more far fron seashore, that one was like 50 cm long and same colour than your picture. ( little one was lighter , almost white and yellow spots.

      And i was also very scared !!!

      Thank you for your reseach and to put it on-line