Seven Snorkeling Grandmas Discovered a Deadly Sea Snake Population

Velvetfish/iStock via Getty Images
Velvetfish/iStock via Getty Images

If you found out your favorite snorkeling spot was home to 5-foot-long venomous snakes, you’d probably scope out safer waters somewhere far, far away—but a dauntless group of grandmothers did just the opposite.

While studying the small, harmless turtle-headed sea snake in New Caledonia’s Baie des Citrons, two researchers sighted several greater sea snakes (Hydrophis major). The much larger, potentially lethal species proved elusive, and the scientists saw only about 30 of them over three years.

Then, in 2017, seven local grandmothers in their sixties and seventies had an idea. According to a press release, the self-styled “Fantastic Grandmothers” suggested to the researchers—Claire Goiran of the University of New Caledonia and Rick Shine of Macquarie University—that they observe and photograph the greater sea snakes on their regular snorkeling excursions.

Monique Mazière and Sea Snake 79, nicknamed "Déborah."Claire Goiran/University of New Caledonia

“As soon as the grandmothers set to work, we realized that we had massively underestimated the abundance of greater sea snakes in the bay,” Goiran said in a press release.

Because of noticeable differences in their patterns, it’s easy to tell greater sea snakes apart in photographs. Not only did the women identify more than 249 greater sea snakes in the bay, they also helped shed light on their breeding habits and offspring. Shine told CNN that the women are a “powerful example” of how members of the broader public can enrich scientific discoveries.

Claire Goiran/University of New Caledonia

“The incredible energy of the grandmothers and their intimate familiarity with ‘my’ study area have transformed our understanding of the abundance and ecology of marine snakes in this system,” Goiran said. “It’s a great pleasure and privilege to work with them.” The scientists published their findings in the journal Ecosphere.

The Fantastic Grandmothers, from left to right: Geneviève Briançon, Aline Guémas, Monique Zannier, Monique Mazière, Sylvie Hébert, Cathy Le Bouteiller and Marilyn Sarocchi.

Fortunately, the Fantastic Grandmothers swam away from the study unscathed. In fact, there’s never been a recorded incident of a greater sea snake biting someone in the area, which Goiran believes implies a “benevolent disposition.”

The idea of a warm-hearted, cold-blooded venomous reptile seems strange, but perhaps not as weird as these really weird snakes.

[h/t CNN]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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Treat Your Feline This Holiday Season With Fancy Feast’s Cat Food Advent Calendar

Fancy Feast/Chewy
Fancy Feast/Chewy

In anticipation of the holiday season, many children and adults get to unwrap mini presents each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas day, during what's known as Advent. Though Advent itself dates back to the 4th century, the version we know today, complete with the chocolate-filled calendars, was popularized in the early 1900s. And apparently it's no longer just for humans, because Fancy Feast is letting your feline roommate in on the fun with this unique cat food Advent calendar, now available at Chewy for $23.

For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, your cat will get to enjoy a variety of different wet foods, including favorites like grilled salmon, chicken, and more. There is even a unique ornament included with each calendar featuring a cat in the shape of a heart that can go right onto your tree. (Also, don't be surprised to find your actual cat making its way into the middle of your tree; they're known climbers.)

Now while you enjoy your Advent calendars from brands like LEGO, Funko, and more, your cat will be able to join in on the fun as well. To learn more about Fancy Feast's Feastivites Advent Calendar, head on over to Chewy.

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