The waters of Darwin Harbor, in Australia, were the setting for a pitched battle between a poisonous stonefish, among the deadliest of fish in the ocean, and a sea snake, itself venomous.
The duo, locked in mortal combat, was photographed by Australian fisherman Rick Trippe, the BBC reports.
Astonishingly, Trippe, drawing on prior experience handling snakes, pulled the tangled pair out of the water and separated them, without being injured.
"Being an animal lover, I grabbed the snake just behind the head with serious precaution, knowing that sea snakes are highly venomous. I removed the poisonous fish from its mouth and body," Trippe told the Daily Mail.
Once back in the water, the sea snake eventually overtook the stonefish without apparent injury.
"I could hear the fish croaking so I let them both go, but the snake made a beeline back to the fish," Trippe told the BBC.
Stonefish secrete deadly neurotoxins from the base of their dorsal fin spines, while sea snake venom can be used either defensively in some species or offensively, to immobilize prey, in others. This battle was never going to end well.
via BBC, Daily Mail