Deadly Encounter: Witness the Startling Discovery of a Sea Snake and Stonefish Engaged in a Fierce and Fatal Battle.AnhDiep

The ocean is rife with ᴅᴇᴀᴅʟʏ creatures. Yet, while ginormous sharks usually come to mind, the ᴅᴇᴀᴅʟɪᴇsᴛ animals in the ocean are often quite small. Two of the most ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs creatures in the ocean are sea snakes and stonefish. Sea snakes are among the most ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs snakes in the world, and stonefish are among the most ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs fish in the world. So what happens when these two highly ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs creatures go head-to-head?

After a day at sea catching his dinner, Australian real estate agent Rick Trippe was on his boat heading back to harbor in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, when he noticed something floating in the water.

“It was a big sea snake, but I couldn’t quite make it out what kind of snake it was,” he told CNN Tuesday. “Its head was biting a stone fish close to its tail area, and the fish had a huge ʙɪᴛᴇ into the snake.”

The two ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs creatures basically had death locks on each other. “I knew the fish would ᴅɪᴇ because the sea snake is highly poisonous,” said Trippe, who has been diving and spear fishing for about 30 years. “But I knew the snake would also ᴅɪᴇ from the fish’s ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴ if I just left it there.”

So Trippe went on to fish the ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs creatures out of the water (a move marine conservationists would disapprove of), clutching the snake below its mouth. “I’m silly but not mad. I knew this was ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs. I knew if I grabbed it I wouldn’t get bitten,” Mr Trippe told. After prising the animals apart and posing for a few photos, Trippe released them back into the ocean. “I could hear the fish croaking so I let them both go, but the snake made a beeline back to the fish,” he added.

Trippe says he knew by that point that the snake won and would have a tasty meal as the spoils of its victory. So he says he let it swim away and continued his trip. He didn’t learn just how ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴏᴜs the snake he held in his hand was until he got in front of a computer. “Lucky I handled it with such care and didn’t get ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ or I may not be here to tell the story or share these fabulous pictures,” Trippe said.

Trippe says he has plenty of experience handling snakes and stonefish, unlike most people who get shivers just thinking about them. So he felt confident enough handling what turned out to be the most ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴏᴜs snake and fish in the world.

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