Alligator Camouflages Itself While Swimming iIn 'Hauntingly Beautiful' Video

A video showing a large alligator in Texas that nearly disappeared thanks to the help of duckweed used as camouflage shocked viewers.

Posted to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page on August 2, the video, which the agency credited Penni Phillips of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for taking, racked up more than 600,000 views. You can view the video here.

Laura Bonneau, the visitor services manager for Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, told Newsweek in an email that alligators are "experts at blending in."

"An American Alligator wades through shallow water covered in duckweed, eventually becoming almost completely camouflaged in green," read the video's caption.

Alligator In Water
A viral video posted on Facebook shows an alligator camouflaging itself as it swam through duckweed-filled water. Above, a stock image of an alligator swimming. TACrafts/iStock

According to the National Wildlife Federation, an alligator's tail and webbed feet help move them forward in the water.

"Although American alligators can be hard to miss while basking on the shore, they can look eerily like logs when floating in the water," the agency said.

"Juvenile alligators are born with yellow stripes to help them blend in with marsh grasses and rays of sunlight, and adults use stealth to capture their prey, so camouflage is a great adaptation," Bonneau said.

American gators are often found in coastal wetlands throughout the southeast region of the United States, extending as far north as North Carolina and as far west as eastern Texas. This particular alligator, according to the Facebook post, was spotted at the refuge, which is on the Gulf of Mexico north of Corpus Christi.

'Hauntingly Beautiful'

In the video, the alligator is seen slowly swimming through the water, which was made bright green because of the duckweed.

The gator had a few bright green spots on its back, but it did not take long before the shockingly bright duckweed completely enveloped it.

Within seconds, the alligator was covered by the bright green water. A viewer taking quick glance at the water may not immediately spot the alligator, but someone taking a closer look can make out the gator's head and part of its tail.

An official from the agency said that the video was taken at the Rail Trail Bridge.

Viewers were mystified by how effortlessly the alligator blended into its surroundings and took their thoughts to the comments section.

"Hauntingly beautiful and very wild there," a viewer wrote.

"Awesome video, love how they use their environment to stay cool and hide," one viewer wrote.

"Yeah they always trying to be slick," another viewer commented.

Some were frightened by how well the alligator camouflaged itself.

"Reasons why I never trust water seen above," a Facebook user commented.

"Can you imagine actually seeing one of these especially while swimming?" another Facebook user wrote.

Newsweek reached out to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for further comment.

A man said he came across a large alligator in the master bedroom of a newly-built home while he was installing window blinds. Professional alligator trappers removed the gator.

One alligator was euthanized in Florida when officials found it swimming with a knife in its head.

Another alligator in Florida was captured on video roaring at officials who were trying to remove it from a homeowner's property.

Updated 08/16/2022, 11:08 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with a verified video of the incident.