Venomous snakes swim along the top of the water and non-venomous snakes swim submerged.
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A viral post claims that you can quickly identify whether or not a snake is venomous based on how it swims.
Misbar found that a snake’s swimming behavior is not a reliable method of judging whether or not it’s venomous. While it is true that some venomous snakes, such as cottonmouths, tend to swim with their bodies floating on top of the water, this isn’t always the case. Sticking with cottonmouths, they do sometimes swim fully submerged when hunting fish or escaping from predators.
That being said, the three most common venomous snakes found in the eastern US, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads, do usually swim along the top of the water. However, this is still a generality and isn’t true 100% of the time. Outside of the US, there are a variety of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous with a wide range of swimming styles making this rule totally unreliable.