When visiting gator country, floating logs suddenly become suspicious, ripples on the water’s surface earn a watchful eye, and every splash triggers the pervasive thought that a reptilian torpedo is closing in fast.
That’s because alligators embody stealth, and a video recently captured at a Texas wildlife refuge is a reminder of this, showcasing a vanishing act as fast as it is effortless.
In the video, shared Aug. 2 by the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, an alligator is seen lumbering into shallow water beside a hiking trail. The surface is choked by bright green duckweed, experts said.
“Looks like he’s swimming in mushy peas,” one commenter wrote on the Facebook post.
Sliding into the water, the duckweed parts before the alligator at first, giving it space, video shows.
But the animal quickly slows down, letting the plants slide onto its body. It dips beneath the surface as if burrowing into the natural camouflage, trying to cover itself with as much as it can by shifting and nudging.
The movements grow gentler until the alligator finally stops, “becoming almost completely camouflaged in green,” the post said.
Despite having watched the process unfold — in well under a minute — it’s not difficult to imagine how an animal might wander near the water’s edge with no notion of the danger resting there.
“That is scarily beautiful,” a commenter wrote.
The video was taken next to a bridge along the Rail Trail, a half-mile hiking route, according to the refuge.
Located along the Texas Gulf Coast, about 78 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge offers “several miles of walking trails” as well as “diverse plants and wildlife, and stunning views of the bay and wildlife habitat,” according to the website.