This is the moment an underwater cameraman gets up close and personal with a black-banded sea krait – 10 times more venomous than a cobra.
Scuba diver and underwater cameraman Marcelo Johan Ogata, 36, has been documenting the deep seas for the past 10 years.
The krait’s venom is 10 times stronger than that of a cobra, making it extremely dangerous, however, Ogata says it does not attack humans unless it feels threatened or provoked.
He says they are very friendly and curious, but are generally harmless even though they are one of the most venomous snakes around.
Ogata told Newsflash: “There is absolutely no reason to be afraid of them, even though they like to touch divers when we least expect it!
“I like getting close to these beautiful creatures, filming them up close to show everyone how harmless these snakes are, just like the biggest sharks out there.
“The video was filmed in an active underwater volcano called Manuk, in the Banda Sea in Indonesia.
“The entire place is still smoking, with some amazing biodiversity under and above the water.”
With regards to other wildlife in the region, Ogata told Newsflash: “It is an incredible place where hammerhead sharks and sea snakes hang out together, it is very remote and hard to get to but one of my favourite places in the world to scuba dive.”
The black-banded sea krait (Laticauda semifasciata), also known commonly as the Chinese sea snake, is a mainly aquatic species of venomous snake that inhabits the warm waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
It prefers shallow coral reef waters that provide plenty of cover for hunting activities and must surface several times every day to breathe.
The nocturnal species is regularly consumed in Japan where it is mostly used in soups and was once believed to have medicinal properties.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species lists the black-banded sea krait as threatened, noting that climate change and natural resource depletion through fishing are the main threats to the Southeast Asian reptile.
It is widely regarded as the eighth-most deadly snake in the world and the commonly repeated belief that its mouth is too small to bite a person has been scientifically disproven.