New Species of Stiletto Snake is Capable of Sideways Strikes

If you thought that cobra was the deadliest snake in the world, here comes a new viper that will send chills down your spine. Scientists have discovered a new species of snake that is capable of striking without opening its mouth.

The venomous creature was found hidden in the evergreen forests of Guinea and Liberia and was later identified as a new species that belongs to the stiletto snakes. These vipers have long fangs sticking out of the corner of their mouths and this unique feature allows them to attack its pray sideways.

When the researchers found the snake for the first time in Liberian forest, they tried gripping it behind the head with their fingers.

“In this head position, the snake repeatedly tried to strike”, the authors wrote on their blog.

“Either it tried to move slowly away from the human observers or it abruptly coiled and uncoiled, often jumping distances equaling almost its entire body length, similar to wolf snakes of the genus Lycophidion.”

Luckily, no one was hurt. A stiletto snake’s bite would be necessarily life threatening, but it can cause severe pain, swelling, blistering and even major tissue damage. Dangerous for a harmless-looking snake, right?