Biggest Cottonmouth Snake Ever? Watch This Daredevil Get Mere Inches Away

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: January 17, 2023
© Nicole Ramsey/
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Think You Know Snakes?
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If you are going to travel along a road called Snake Road, then we guess you need to expect to come face-to-face with snakes! In this great sequence from a reptile adventure channel, we join a snake expert exploring some of the tracks around Snake Road and we share with him an incredible discovery.

Giant Cottonmouth Near Snake Road

Snake Road in Illinois is actually Forest Road #345 in the Shawnee National Forest. It closes twice a year to allow snakes to migrate to and from the limestone bluffs and the LaRue Swamp. Up to 23 different species of snakes have been recorded in the area. One of them is the Northern cottonmouth but copperheads and timber rattlesnakes have also been spotted.

The huge cottonmouth snake in this vid is not impressed about its human visitors. It adopts a defensive posture, mouth wide open, and even manages to get its mouth caught on its scales. It also waves its tail in a similar manner to a rattlesnake which is not surprising as they are both pit vipers. This is the biggest cottonmouth that the snake adventurer has ever seen in this location. He identifies it as an adult female and we get a wonderful close up of the heat-seeking pit between the nostril and the eyeball from which this group of snakes get their name.

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Western Cottonmouth
Cottonmouths open their jaws wide as a warning

©Psychotic Nature/

Cottonmouth Snakes

Cottonmouths are highly venomous snakes that are native to North America and that like to spend their time near water so much so that they are considered a semi-aquatic snake. They can live for up to 10 years and reach lengths of four feet but some as long as six feet have been recorded.

Their diet consists of mainly fish but they also eat rodents, birds and eggs. This particular snake is large enough to tackle a bull frog with little problem. Their scientific name is Agkistrodon piscivorus and piscivorus means fish eater.

This snake explorer gets pretty close to the huge cottonmouth in this footage which is brave! These snakes have a highly potent venom that kills cells and causes swelling and pain. They are considered more dangerous than the copperhead but not as dangerous as the rattlesnake. However, some cottonmouth bites have resulted in amputations so you should always seek medical attention if you are bitten as an effective antivenom is available.

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Cottonmouth Water Moccasin Close up
© Nicole Ramsey/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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