Venomous Snakes Ride Ocean Currents Around the World
The impressive yellow-bellied sea snake has spread across the globe by simply riding the waves, a new model suggests.
It has no arms and is about as long as a baguette, but that hasn’t stopped the yellow-bellied sea snake from conquering the world’s oceans.
Now, there's new evidence that the reptiles travel around the globe by just going with the flow.
The venomous snake can drift on ocean currents for thousands of miles—possibly clocking distances of 20,000 miles (32,190 kilometers) and more over 10 years, computer simulations show. That means that, at least theoretically, a snake could float from near the Philippines to east of Hawaii or from Mexico to the island of Mauritius in the western Indian Ocean. (Related: "What's This Tropical, Venomous Sea Snake Doing in California?")
“I’m impressed, especially because it’s a really small species,” says study co-author