The 46-year-old Lujan Eroles was startled and terrified when she discovered an odd critter in her surroundings in the sleepy Argentine town of Santa Fe. She was so confused by the encounter that she called out in fear to her curious neighbours to come see the strange discovery.
A shudder ran down Eroles’s spine as she described the monster, still shocked by the finding, as a serpent-like creature with strange eyes. There was a hint of anxiety in the encounter as her first thought was that it might be poisonous.
Eroles’ video footage of the aforementioned creature revealed its colours to be serpentine, adding to the mystery. But its small size—it was only 10 centimetres long—brought even more mystery to the already mysterious find.
Eroles uploaded the video online, eager to share her amazing experience and spark rumours and debate on the nature of the creature. The initial theories put up by internet users investigating the issue claimed that it might be a caterpillar of a rare kind of moth that is only seen in Central America.
Its defence mechanism is where the fascinating twist in the tale of this species resides. This caterpillar uses a novel tactic in place of traditional defensive weapons: it imitates the appearance of a snake. By tricking would-be predators into thinking the innocuous caterpillar is a poisonous snake, this ingenious disguise acts as a deterrent.
As the tale developed, the internet was a flurry of curiosity and amazement, showcasing the beauties of the natural world and the creative ways in which organisms adapt to live in their circumstances.