Two-headed snake found by campers in rare but sad sighting in the wild

While Australia has previously reported two-headed snakes, experts put their probability at about one in 100,000.

A to-headed snake pictured after it was found on the side of the road.
The rare snake was dead when the campers spotted it. Source: Jam Press

A two-headed snake has been found by a man and his wife while camping in the mountains in an exceedingly rare encounter in the wild. The animal, which was sadly dead at the time, was estimated to be around 10 days old.

The unnamed man found the unique reptile while camping with his wife and children last weekend. It was spotted on the roadside near Kitakyushu City, in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture.

"The snake wasn’t moving," he recalled. "When I approached it and looked closer, I saw it had two heads.

"I Googled the probability of that happening and it said something like 1 in 100,000 cases."

"I was very surprised," he added.

The man took the dead snake to the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human History for further study. Experts believe the snake was a venomous Japanese pit viper that died very young, probably around 10 days after birth.

The Japan Snake Centre in Ota City said two-headed snakes are very rare in nature and don’t tend to live for very long. In 60 years since the centre opened, they have only ever come across a single two-headed Japanese pit viper, and that was as recently as early 2023. The reptile died about a month after it arrived at the centre.

A two headed carpet python born in Queenaland pictured on a medical table.
A two headed carpet python born in Australia last year had to be euthanised. Source: Facebook/The Unusual Pet Vets

Australia has also been home to two-headed snakes. A two-headed carpet python was born in captivity in Queensland last year. However due to several internal issues seen on radiographs and CT scans, the snake was euthanised shortly after its birth.

A two-headed snake also appeared in Nebraska, in the United States, in 2022, while a two-headed copperhead snake was found in northern Virginia in 2018. Dennis Ferraro, herpetologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said the chance of a two-headed snake being born is indeed about 1 in 100,000.

Jam Press

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