Posted on Twitter by Helen Bond Pillar, a doctoral candidate at the Savitzky Lab at Utah State University in the United States, this illusion plays with your nerves and your eyes.
Taken by Jerry Davis whilst walking in Shephard, Texas, this photo has made the cut for our list of best natural optical illusions! Focus and try to spot the reptile hidden in the piles of innocent-looking leaves. Here's a little clue: the reptile isn’t in one of the corners and is well-hidden thanks to its colour…
We have to admit our team was kicking themselves trying to find this creature that seemed like it took camouflage lessons from a chameleon. Luckily, the zoom mode allowed us to finally find this Agkistrodon contortrix, more commonly known as a Copperhead snake, a type of pit viper.
These venomous snakes are generally found on the coasts in the United States and they rarely exceed 80 centimetres in length but there are records of some that have reached 130cm. This snakeis a bronze or bronzy-pink colour gives the snake its name and also has 10 to 18 stripes. It is also well renowned for its camouflage skills and we can see why from the photo.
As the photo proves, the Agkistrodon contortrix hunts in ambush and camouflages itself as a way to go unnoticed and better surprise its prey. Its rather painful bites are quite rare unless you disturb the snakebut it’s worth knowing all the same that its venom can cause muscle damage and intense swelling.
On the other hand, its venom could also be useful in the field of medicine. When tested on mice, researchers found out that it contains a substance capable of slowing down the speed at which cancerous cells develop.