An extremely rare copperhead snake with two heads was spotted in a resident’s backyard in Woodbridge, Virginia. Photos of the two-headed snake were shared on social media, becoming not only viral but contentious as well, with some questioning if the shocking photos of the snake were real.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Officials share photos of two-headed snake <a href="https://t.co/JHhS5c9Thy">https://t.co/JHhS5c9Thy</a> <a href="https://t.co/Hm8YJFhiLm">pic.twitter.com/Hm8YJFhiLm</a></p>— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) <a href="https://twitter.com/FOX26Houston/status/1043302127953633280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 22, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The Virginia Wildlife Management and Control shared the photos of the snake to Facebook on Sunday. They also shared a video of the two-headed serpent twisting and wriggling inside a container.
The department wrote in its post: “Check out these extremely rare photos of an actual 2-headed copperhead that was found in someone’s yard in Woodbridge… Cool, huh?”
The post has since been shared more than 1,000 times and generated 600 reactions as of Friday afternoon.
Still, there are social media users who were quick to question the authenticity of the post. The department, however, gave assurances that the photos and video were both “very real.”’
The department even told a local media: “Absolutely not a fake! We assure you, it’s very real and was shedding its skin.”
Two-head snakes develop similarly to the case of Siamese twins when an embryo does not properly split into two.
According to the National Geographic, two-headed snakes are rare and commonly do not survive for long in the wild. As far as snakes are concerned, the dictum “two heads are better than one” does not apply to them. Such rare genetic abnormality can, in fact, hinder the snake’s ability to catch prey.
National Geographic explained: “Snakes operate a good deal by smell, and if one head catches the scent of prey on the other’s head, it will attack and try to swallow the second head.”