Large Aquatic Snake Chases Boat Near Virginia Beach

NewsflarePublished: June 27, 2017Updated: July 4, 2017671,098 views
Published: June 27, 2017Updated: July 4, 2017

Nature is filled with wonder. There are so many peculiar inhabitants all around, those we see and those we don’t get to see with the naked eye. Bugs and critters and animals, both big and small, dot the world around us, claiming their territory. Naturally, when humans cross their path, these inhabitants of our planet want to get closer and examine their ‘guests’, be it from close or from afar. When they keep their distance, it is no big deal. But when they climb onto your patio, get into your tent or chase after your boat, you better stay alert, because, after all, you are their guest.

This footage shows an aquatic cottonmouth snake chasing a group of people in a boat while they were out taking water samples. The video was filmed off the coast Virginia Beach in the US earlier this week, and you have to admit, it looks like a scene straight out of a horror movie. The snake glides seamlessly through the water, following the boat, unaware that it is about to become a viral internet sensation.

The owner of the video, Cory Routh says: “This Cottonmouth came out to check us out while we were taking water samples. so I sent in the GoPro to check her out.”

The cottonmouth is a venomous pit viper, found in the southeastern United States. This is the only semi-aquatic viper, usually found near or in water, especially in marshes, streams and slow-moving and shallow lakes. They are such strong swimmers, that individuals have been spotted entering the sea.

“This species is found in the eastern US from the Great Dismal Swamp in southeast Virginia, south through the Florida peninsula and west to Arkansas, eastern and southern Oklahoma, and western and southern Georgia (excluding Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona). A few records exist of the species being found along the Rio Grande in Texas, but these are thought to represent disjunct populations, now possibly eradicated. The type locality given is "Carolina", although Schmidt proposed this be restricted to the area around Charleston, South Carolina.”

There are three distinct subspecies of what is known as the Agkistrodon piscivorus. Their generic name is pretty self-explanatory: ‘ancistro’ and ‘odon’ mean ‘hooked’ and ‘tooth’, while ‘piscis’ and ‘voro’ mean ‘fish’ and ‘to eat’. Their name literally means ‘hooked-tooth fish eater’.

The ‘fisheaters’ are the largest of the Agkistrodon genus, with adults known to exceed 31 in length. There is, however, a record exists showing the largest recorded specimen of a cottonmouth snake to be 74 inches in length, based on a specimen caught in the Dismal Swamp region and given to the Philadelphia Zoological Garden.

The venom of the cottonmouth is far more toxic than that of the copperhead viper, since it contains a higher concentration of a cytotoxic venom that destroys tissue. Deaths are rare, but the bite can leave scars, or in more severe cases, require amputation. It may cause an anaphylactic reaction in a bitten individual, but the bite can be effectively treated with CroFab antivenom.

(source: Wikipedia)

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    Comments

    20 comments

    • 3 rumbles
      RumbleUser2017 · 1 year ago

      How has Georgia excluded cottonmouths from Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona? Cottonmouths are throughout Southern Missouri, especially in the Southeastern section. They seem to go wherever they want to crawl or swim. I'd like to limit their territory if there's a way to do that.

      • 1 rumble
        Kikstand454 · 40 weeks ago

        Cottonmouths avoid hilly, rugged, mountainous terrain. To limit their presence in your yard, eliminate what is attracting their prey. Rodents, frogs, etc. That's why they are there.

    • 2 rumbles
      AGW · 1 year ago

      I come from MA. and we have Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Copper Heads. All 3 are related as they are all Pit Vipers. You say the Cottonmouth is the only semi aquatic viper but i disagree. Many times I've seen copper heads swimming near the shores of lakes and ponds.

      • 1 rumble
        Kikstand454 · 40 weeks ago

        All snakes can swim. And do. Cottonmouths spend a large portion of their time in and around water....making them trully semi-aquatic.

    • 1 rumble
      Betty · 1 year ago

      We have Cottonmouths in central Illinois as well.

      • 1 rumble
        Kikstand454 · 40 weeks ago

        You should let your local DNR know, take a good pic, and location stamp. There have been no verified Cottonmouths in central Illinois in many,many decades.

        • 1 rumble
          Kikstand454 · 40 weeks ago

          There is an extremely high likelihood that you are misidentifying common watersnakes. There are no verifiable populations of Cottonmouths in your area.

    • 0 rumbles
      Jmos · 1 year ago

      Cottonmouths are very aggressive snakes. When we lived by the Santa Fe River in Fla, we were advised not to string any of our fish together and hang over the side of our boat....Cottonmouths have been known to climb up them and get into the boat. This article says they are the only semi-aquatic vipers, I disagree, we have seen rattlesnakes swimming across the River.

      • 1 rumble
        Kikstand454 · 40 weeks ago

        All snakes can and will swim. That does not make them semi-aquatic. Cottonmouths are not aggressive in anyway. This is a myth. They will for sure try to take fish off a stringer, and will climb into a boat if they are seeking a rest from swimming, but they are not specifically trying to "attack" you....which is the definition of aggressive. Snakes are defensive. 100% of snake bites are in self defense.

      • 1 rumble
        Benjig3 · 37 weeks ago

        Completely untrue. Just because they are going after a string airline full of fish does not make them aggressive, just hungry. They’re a Very lazy snake in fact. Mostly sitting on logs and sunning themselves and will do so peacefully 7 feet away from you while you’re fishing. I should know being from Mobile Alabama and owning 1000 acre cypress swamp in South Mississippi. I’m often surrounded by Cottonmouths and I bass fish completely comfortable as long as you don’t invade their space you’re fine.

    • 1 rumble
      Dubstumble · 1 year ago

      "Begone, Pit Viper !!" I really hate snakes.

    • 2 rumbles
      lildragonwings · 44 weeks ago

      I am petrified of snakes. Even the little harmless garner snakes. I am told they are harmless. But if they bite it still hurts. So any snake is a big fat nope nope nope.

    • 1 rumble
      Life2018 · 32 weeks ago

      She looks like she's pretty far out. Did she make it back to shore?

    • 1 rumble
      gobus1 · 28 weeks ago

      The snake is not chasing anyone. It is looking for a place to get out of the water. In Georgia, Cottonmouths are rarely found north of the Fall Line.

    • 2 rumbles
      Mel420 · 26 weeks ago

      That's one mean looking snake

    • 1 rumble
      abidingjedi · 25 weeks ago

      First off, the snake is not that huge, a typical sized Cottonmouth. Second, the snake is not chasing ANYTHING. Swimming in the water, as cottonmouths (water moccasins) are want to do... it came upon a boat of people gathering water samples. Now, snakes don't have the best eyesight so I doubt it knew the boat was there before it got too close. The open-mouthed display that you see around the 0:13 mark is not a display of aggression, nor is it a strike. It is strictly a defensive display that all cottonmouths employ, an open gape displaying the white of its mouth. If you were I were to come across something in our day to day life that we perceived as a threat, we might have a similar reaction. This snake is simply saying "leave me alone and I'll leave you alone." The spread of false information and sensationalist BS like this simply works to perpetuate unnecessary fears and potentially undo the work of snake-advocates and educators. Spread education, not lies.

    • 1 rumble
      DMA2 · 21 weeks ago

      Cotton mouths are more dangerous than copperheads because their bite is much more deadly, also they are very a aggressive snake. Down south people like to fish at night with lights over the sides of the boat, and the cottonmouths will come to the light and try to come into the boat. It is best to carry a pistol with bird shot or a short barrel 410 gauged shotgun with a pistol grip hand to get the job done.

    • 1 rumble
      leftoflarry · 8 weeks ago

      The snake is not chasing anyone. It is simply moving in a direction that the boat was in. Since the boat was moving in that direction, it makes the appearance that the snake was "chasing" the boat. It's important not to anthropomorphize animal behavior. One simple way to see if the snake was actually chasing the boat is to simply change directions. Move left or right and see what happens. Media sensationalism about snakes always gives them a bad rep. This snake was simply moving in a direction (headed somewhere) and the boat was in its way when it got close enough to realize there was a threat (boat) it displayed its defense display (open mouth, hence the term cottonmouth). When the boat sped away, the snake kept moving in the direction it was headed until it saw the boat again, and once again displayed its open mouth defense. To get real facts about snakes in Virginia go visit the Va Herpetological Society: www.vaherpsociety.com I have come across many of these beautiful snakes and have never had one chase me, in the water or on land. The media sensationalism about this myth about cottonmouth needs to stop.