Do you know what it means if you see a snake swimming above water?
Well, if you read the viral post below you may have thought that any snake swimming completely above the water was venomous, while a snake swimming with its body underwater and its head above water was nonvenomous.
As it would turn out, this viral explanation is 100% not accurate at all.
I don't know about you, but when it comes to snakes, I don't think any type of gray area is something I would want to flirt—especially as it would relate to venom.
The Louisiana Snake ID Facebook page shared the post, explaining why one simply cannot determine if a snake is venomous or not by "how they swim." They acknowledged that the snake in the photo was indeed a venomous copperhead and was swimming above water, but many other nonvenomous snakes have been seen doing the same thing.
I've seen ratsnakes, ribbonsnakes, kingsnakes, watersnakes and other species swimming fully on top of the water so please don't use this method for an ID or tell anyone to rely on it.
In addition to stating that both nonvenomous and venomous snakes were able to float "on top or fully underwater," the page also pointed out that both species have the same type of lungs and explained why the venomous snake pictured would actually have no problem going under the water.
YES the picture shows a venomous copperhead, but snakes have the same lungs whether venomous or nonvenomous so the rule applies to more than just 1 species of snake. A main part of the diet of venomous cottonmouth water moccasins are FISH, fish are obviously under water so it only makes sense that they'd be able to go under water as needed.
In addition to putting out information that debunked the viral myth about swimming snakes, they provided multiple links to videos to prove their point.
The main video shows a Cottonmouth swimming underwater.
Another video shows two water moccasins trekking under the surface.
Two snakes one pool. Cottonmouth and broadbanded watersnake.
And last (but definitely not least) a video from a LIVE stream that shows another cottonmouth swimming around the 25-minute mark.