Society

Woman Startled By 'Mutant Animal' In Her Garden (Video)

| by Michael Howard

A woman from Santa Fe, Argentina, was startled when she came across a peculiar snake-like creature that appeared to have two heads (video below).

Lujan Eroles, 46, found the bizarre-looking animal while walking in her courtyard, according to the Daily Mail. As soon as she saw it she says she let out a horrified scream. Her friends came running to see what was the matter.

"I had never seen anything like it, it was just like a snake and its eyes were so strange," Eroles said. "I looked down and I encountered the strange animal, [and] fear struck me knowing that it could have been poisonous."

The creepy crawler resembled a small serpent. It was short -- measuring about 4 inches long -- and had rough, scaly skin like a snake.

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"We all thought it was a mutant animal, which is why we filmed it and put it online for people to give us their opinions," Eroles explained.

Eroles posted a short video clip of the animal to her Facebook page, where it quickly went viral. The video has been shared almost 5,000 times and has received nearly 4,000 comments.

After much speculation, it appears that the creature is a caterpillar -- either a gaudy sphinx or an elephant hawk-moth.

The gaudy sphinx is an exotic species of hawk-moth commonly found in South and Central America, according to Encyclopedia of Life. Its larvae mimic snakes in order to deter potential predators.

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The elephant hawk-moth is typically seen in the British Isles, according to Wildlife Insight. Its name comes from the caterpillar's resemblance to an elephant's trunk. Like the gaudy sphinx, the elephant hawk-moth wards off predators by appearing larger and more formidable than it actually is.

"We did an extensive Google search on the subject and also several people told us that it was a caterpillar which will become a butterfly," Eroles said. "The reason it was in my courtyard was because it was feeding off vines near my house, and it was camouflaged to look like a form of viper to scare off predators."

Sources: Daily Mail, Lujan Eroles/Facebook, Encyclopedia of Life, Wildlife Insight / Photo credit: crabchick/Flickr

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