TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An American expat snake lover living in Taiwan captured rare video footage of an enormous hundred pacer viper while roaming a road on Lala Mountain in Taoyuan County on the evening of Sept. 11.
The herpetologist (reptile expert), William Christoper Murphy, around midnight on Sept. 11 on Facebook posted live video footage of his encounter with a 1.80 meter (5.9 feet) Deinagkistrodon Acutus (hundred-pacer viper). At the moment he sees the slithering serpent, he exclaims "Holy Mother of God, this is the biggest hundred pacer I've ever seen in my life!"
Murphy takes his time to admire with awe the massive, brightly patterned specimen, and at times gets frighteningly close to the snake with his camera as it casually saunters down the dimly lit road. After he finishes documenting the creature, he takes a snake hook and gently guides it away from the road and back into the jungle to prevent it from being hit by passing cars.
The hundred pacer viper is considered one of the most dangerous snakes in Asia. It is a large snake with highly toxic venom and is considered aggressive. However, it is nocturnal and mainly hunts reptiles at night, so daytime encounters are less likely, but it will attack when it feels threatened.
The name comes from a local legend that once bitten a person will die within 100 paces. Fortunately, an antivenom is produced in Taiwan to treat such bites.
The snake is worshiped as a sacred symbol to many Taiwanese indigenous peoples, including the Paiwan and Rukai, who believe their nobles are descended from.
Hundred pacer viper venom is being researched for medical treatments such as preventing blood clots.