Sea Snake And Horrifying Fish Get Locked In Battle To The Death

“It would not be a nice way to go."
A sea snake and venomous fish locked in a death grip with each other off the coast of Darwin, Australia.
A sea snake and venomous fish locked in a death grip with each other off the coast of Darwin, Australia.

This circle of terror is, unfortunately, a very real battle of the poisonous captured off the coast of Australia, as if the country didn't have enough terrifying creatures already.

The two beasts above, a sea snake and a fish that appears to be a venomous stonefish, were spotted by Australian spear-fisherman Rick Trippe off the coast of Darwin last week. They were very much alive when Trippe's boat stumbled across them, with the animals' mouths locked onto each other. He quickly snatched the duo out of the water for a quick photo (not the safest idea, as quite a few selfie-seekers have found out).

"I'm silly but not mad. I knew this was dangerous," Trippe told the BBC. "I knew if I grabbed it I wouldn't get the bitten."

It's unclear what species of sea snake can be seen in the photo above, but the band of ocean between Australia and Asia is home to some of the deadliest sea snakes in the world, LiveScience reports. Stonefish are the most poisonous fish in the world, and can easily kill humans in two hours if victims aren't treated with antivenom.

John C. Murphy, a sea snake expert with Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, told National Geographic that fish are regular prey for the snakes. He told the outlet it's possible the snakes are immune to stonefish venom. The reptiles hunt by injecting the fish with venom, he said, holding them until they're subdued and then swallowing them whole.

There's also a chance the fish is actually a nonvenomous frogfish, which look similar to a stonefish, biologist Bryan Fry told the outlet. Both creatures are found in Australian waters.

The fish eventually lost the battle, according to the BBC, and the snake left with a decent meal.

“It would not be a nice way to go,” Murphy said.

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