Mental Floss

Striped Snakes Swim Speedier

Jill Harness

I've always been a little more scared of water snakes than land snakes, because they're so much more stealthy. But a new study says that it's really the striped water snakes you need to look out for. Research shows that white-and-black striped turtle-headed seasnakes (like the one seen above, photographed by Flickr user PacificKlaus) are up to 20% faster than their all black counterparts because algae seems to only grow on the black areas of their skin.

Scientists have long wondered why most seasnakes are banded, while less than half of land snakes are, and it seems this research may show the answer lies in the speed advantage.