A struggling snake was left wriggling and writhing on a North Carolina dock after it bit of more than it could chew while trying to swallow a catfish whole.
John Carney Edwards and his wife Shelia were at a seafood restaurant in Washington, when he filmed the unusual encounter.
In the shocking seven-second footage, the snake appears trapped on the wooden dock unable to fully enclose its mouth around its prey.
Edwards, of Chocowinity, posted the video from June 3 online, which has since been watched nearly 54,000 times and left viewers ‘freaked out’ by the sight.
He captioned the post: ‘We were not the only ones enjoying a seafood meal at Backwater Jack’s’
‘My wife and I just finished eating at a restaurant when I heard someone say there was a snake eating a fish down by the docks.
‘So the wife and I walked down there and that’s when I saw the snake.
‘I took out my phone and took a few pictures then a short video, I only wish that I had filmed longer.’
Later Edwards told the Charlotte Observer: ‘Its not something you see everyday,’
According to the paper, North Carolina Zoo later identified the creature as a Brown Watersnake.
The nonvenomous reptile, can grow up to 60 inches in length and can be found in abundant aquatic areas, such as large rivers and streams according to Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
They predominantly prey on small catfish, which they capture by ambushing or foraging along the bottom of rivers.
The site wrote: ‘Although not venomous, brown watersnakes do not hesitate to strike if cornered and can inflict a painful bit’
Known scientifically as Nerodia taxispilota, they can be found with catfish spines sticking out of their body according to Herpsofnc.org.
“Surprisingly, the spines eventually fall out and the snakes seem to recover from these ‘painful’ meals,” according to the site.
On social media, people have been both ‘terrified’ and ‘amazed’ by the snake, with more than 440 shares and over 180 comments, as of Tuesday.
User, Renee’ Coghill wrote: ‘Oh me…and that’s why I don’t swim in the water anymore.’
Another, Carolyn Stephens Walker commented: ‘It’s hard to watch yet hard to turn away!’
While Betty Waters Woolard, couldn’t peel her eyes away from the clip: ‘Holy crap!!! Interesting to watch but I’d be petrified.’