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can a snake bite underwater?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by peejymvl, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. peejymvl

    peejymvl Angel Fish

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    OK heres the question....I was told that I shouldn't be affraid of running into snakes in lakes, rivers or ponds, at least not under the water, because they cannot bite underwater. I was told that if they bite you underwater, they drown, is this true? It may seem like a silly question, but its one of those gotta ask or I will not know things
     
  2. jiveturkey

    jiveturkey Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa
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    Yes, snakes can bite you underwater. In fact, in most sea snakes are much more venomous than lands snakes. It's not a huge worry though, the banded sea snake for example has powerful venom but if you're wearing a wetsuit there's only a couple places on your body that are small enough to fit into it's jaws. That's not something I'd like to put to a test. If you keep your distance, look and don't touch, you should have no problems.
     
  3. rmediver2002

    rmediver2002 Instructor, Scuba

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    Snakes can bite underwater, some prefer to hunt underwater exclusively like cotton-heads and many types of non-venemous water snakes.

    Still as noisy and large as divers are most snakes will make attempts to stay clear of you...

    Jeff Lane
     
  4. TJisthe1

    TJisthe1 Angel Fish

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    YES, SNAKES(certain ones) CAN and WILL bite underwater!!!
    I dont care what your friends tell you the answer is YES,YES, and more YES!! But, dont let it stop you from diving. I am (girls, watch out a guy is fixing to tell the truth) VERY SCARED, no, more like petrified of snakes so this is a question I researched and I found out that water moccasins and cotton mouths CAN bite underwater. There was even one story told of someone cathing a moccasin on a fishing hook. I ran across a moccasin here at martins lake underwater and my first instinct was to RUN!!! Well, you know you cant do that underwater so no matter what, always stop, think, and act logically (you can change your underware when you get back to shore!!) I just backed up as soon as i seen it and it went on its mery ole way, needless to say I went the OPPOSITE way!!:cluck:
     
  5. ScottyK

    ScottyK Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Shrewsbury, MA
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    When I was a kid we used to go out in the pine barrens collecting snakes, frogs and anything else we could catch.

    I've been bitten underwater a couple of times by Garter Snakes, and almost lost some toes to a Snapping Turtle once. Lucky for me that my sneaker was a little longer than my foot ;)

    I had those bites coming though. I've never seen any snake do anything but head in the opposite direction when confronted by a person.
     
  6. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, CA
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    Question: Why are the snakes in the water in the first place? Answer: To hunt for food. Of course in the case of the sea snake, they live there 24/7.
    Question: How does a snake capture its food?
    Answer: By biting and injecting venom to paralyze the prey.

    So logically, yes, snakes can bite underwater. To hunt or to defend themselves.

    Ask your friend to provide the source of his information on the snakes inability to bite underwater. Bet it is heard from someone else who heard from someone else etc. Probabily an old wives tale based upon the fact that most snakes will move away from all the noise we humans make.
     
  7. JustAddWater

    JustAddWater Manta Ray

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    I've never encountered a snake underwater, but have seen rattlers swimming on the surface, and have had one try to climb from the water into our fishing boat. I have little doubt about it's biting capabilities from the surface, and recognize this when I lake dive.
     
  8. zeN||

    zeN|| Barracuda

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    Having lived in the South, I can vouch for the large number of water moccasins in the water, along with their aggressive nature, though I never saw a lake there clear enough to dive, there were always a lot of stories growing up about swimmers getting bitten by multiple snakes, I would like to hear about any encounter others have experienced with snakes in freshwater lakes zeN
     
  9. rmediver2002

    rmediver2002 Instructor, Scuba

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    You mention the first famous legend (right up the road from everywere in the South)

    1) a water skier fell into a ball of cotton mouths and recieved (100, 200 ,300, etc.) bites... Fatal of course...

    http://www.snopes.com/critters/snakes/waterski.htm


    2) the second one is pretty common also, I have heard it said many times down here that snakes can not bite underwater so your friend did not just make this up. He most likely heard it from someone he thought was telling the truth...

    Jeff Lane
     
  10. McKee Boykin

    McKee Boykin Nassau Grouper

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    What the heck is a cotton-head snake, rmediver2002? I know about cottonmouths, as i've grown up around them. :confused: :confused: :wacko: [​IMG]
     

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