Aussies warned after huge snake found washed up on beach: 'Never swimming again'

A renowned Queensland snake catcher says the reptile is 'highly venomous' and he has reminded people what to do if ever they see one.

An early morning walk was brought to a halt for some Queensland locals on Tuesday morning when they were greeted by a humungous sea snake that had washed up onto the sand.

The sizeable Stokes' sea snake found on Sunshine Beach near Noosa Heads was "pretty chunky" said Sunshine Coast Snake catcher Stuart McKenzie who warned of their "highly venomous" bite.

The black and white reptile measured roughly 1.2 metres in length and "an inch or two wide" he told Yahoo News Australia.

"They're naturally quite a large snake anyway. But this was a pretty big individual at its thickest point," he revealed.

Stokes' Sea snake on Sunshine beach in Noosa, Queensland.
A Stokes' sea snake 1.2 metres in length washed up onto Sunshine Beach near Noosa Heads this week. Source: Facebook

Locals shocked by 'massive' size of sea snake

Locals were equally shocked and amazed by the size of the animal which appeared to be injured with a large chuck missing from its side. Posting on Facebook, Stuart said he was "a chunky man".

One local woman said she "never knew we had such a creature in our midst" while another, who was familiar with sea snakes, said, "I was surprised at the size... the head is huge".

"I never swimming again in the Sunshine Beach," one said, after learning "massive" sea snakes exist.

Others agreed they didn't know sea snakes "get this big", but they can grow even bigger.

Aussies warned never to touch venomous sea snake

Stokes' sea snakes are among the largest and bulkiest of all sea snakes and can reach two metres in length and 26 cm in girth, according to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water. Alarmingly, they're said to be aggressive and have been known to attack unprovoked.

Sea snakes are common in northern Australia, including Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Stuart said they normally recover two or three a week across their beaches. However, he reminded beachgoers to avoid touching the snake if one is spotted on the shores or elsewhere.

"If you see a sea snake on the beach when you're walking, just keep a safe distance," he told Yahoo. "Keep yourself, kids, pets away from it, and then just give your local snake catcher a call".

While "highly venomous" Stuart said "not a lot of studies have been done on the venom" to know of its effects. "Either way, it's not going to be a good situation" he warned.

Sunshine Beach Noosa
The sea snakes are common around northern parts of Australia including Sunshine Beach (pictured) near Noosa Heads, Queensland where this one was found. Source: Google Images

How do these reptiles 'breathe' in the water?

Sea snakes are air-breathing reptiles and must come to the surface to breathe. However, they can spend up to two hours diving underwater between breaths. They have nostril valves that prevent air entering the lung while underwater.

The Stokes' seasnake is a strong swimmer and forages for slow-moving fish in holes and crevices on the sea floor and in reefs.

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