Breathing Through Skin | Alvin Li

0 – Sea Snakes (The Ones Rumored to Kill)

It is said that most species of sea snakes can breathe through their skin. These aquatic creatures are still vertebrates, possessing no gills, but with their miraculous skin—which provides 25% of the oxygen intake needed for survival—and one enormous lung, they need only swim up to the surface for a single giant breath every couple of hours.

Though rumored to be deadly, they are in fact less likely than land snakes to bite humans. Even when they do, they sometimes forget to inject their venom. Their bodies are sleek, almost eel-like, with a vertically flattened tail that functions as a paddle. Ophiologists believe these are survival adaptations that developed as they abandoned land for water.

If they were to meet their terrestrial sisters, what would ensue—entwine, bite, or fly?

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