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Two-Headed Snake Found in Florida

Credit: Unsplash

The strange creature was discovered by a house cat.

Florida is something of a weirdness magnet. I would not be surprised if Bigfoot vacationed down here, for instance, because that would be completely on brand. But while something like Bigfoot remains strictly in the realm of the fantastical, there are still plenty of bizarre creatures lurking out of sight. All you need to do to find them is to send the cat out.

The Rogers family of Palm Harbor, Florida were greeted by a strange sight when their cat, upon returning from an outdoor adventure, presented them with a captured present: a bona-fide two-headed snake, a southern black racer to be specific, still alive and slithering. The family set up a makeshift habitat for it and contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to come have a look at it. Two-headed animals are a very rare find, to say nothing of a living one, which is why the FWC promptly took the snake into protective care with the Rogers’ blessing.

Based on researchers’ observations, both heads of the snake are entirely aware, possessing their own separate brains. This two-brained existence, ironically, works to the snake’s detriment, as it has immense difficulty moving and eating unless both heads are in full agreement (which they’re usually not). This is why most two-headed specimens die in the wild; they’re either captured by predators or can’t eat properly.

The two-headed condition arises from a phenomenon known as bicephaly, wherein two twins born from the same zygote in a mother’s womb don’t completely separate, resulting in conjoined heads on a single body. This phenomenon has been witnessed in all kinds of animals, including goats, sharks, and pigs.

The two-headed snake is currently in FWC captivity, where they’ve managed to have some success in feeding it every couple of days. If the snake can manage to build up some strength and feed more consistently, the FWC may place it in an outreach program for others to study and see.