Mr. Huang, a reptile breeder from southern China, was stunned when he went to check his recent nest of Chinese Cobra hatchlings. As he looked closer at the small snakes, he couldn’t quite figure out why two of the reptiles were right on top of one another. Upon closer inspection, the man’s eyes grew wide, both from wonderment and because he was already thinking about all the money he could make. Staring back at him was a cobra with two heads.

A two-headed cobra

This initial excitement faded quickly for the breeder as he noticed that the snake refused to eat or drink water. Realizing that the cobra required more attention than he could give, Mr. Huang took the reptile to the Nanning Zoo, where specialists will be better equipped to care for it. The scientists at the zoo noted that the snake had already shed its skin once, meaning that it is around 10 days old.

Since each of the cobra heads has its own brain, the body of the snake is constantly receiving different signals. Where this is most noticeable is when the cobra moves in its distinctive S-like fashion. While normal snakes have no problem moving in this way, this particular cobra ends up butting heads whenever it slithers. This has led to tension between the two heads, which have each tried attacking the other.

Snakes with two heads are a relatively common occurrence. Unfortunately, most do not survive more than three months, due to an increased susceptibility to infection and difficulties gaining enough nutrition for normal development.


Steve Pame

Steve Pame

A part-time graduate student and high school teacher, Steve enjoys just about anything that makes him forget all the student loans he'll never be able to pay back. He enjoys visiting his extended family, spread throughout the world, whenever he has a chance.