Adventure Time, Expat Life

Sea Snakes, Massive Crabs & Urchins

In Oman I am always on the look out for strange things but most if the time the strange things find me..

The thought of sea snakes in the water here where I swim and paddle hadn’t really occurred to me until I found a dead snake on Azaiba beach yesterday.
Snakes are a thing of fear for many people, My friend Kay freaks out at the mere sight of a faux snake skin bag, so if you are reading this Kay please skip to the next blog post..

Anyway, The snake I found was dead already and some of the skin had been stripped off it but I stopped for a look anyway. I’ve only ever seen one other snake in the wild before. After some reserach I found that it is an Arabian Gulf sea snake (Hydrophis lapemoides). It can be identified by its striking patterning, comprising 33 to 35 dark bands along the length of the body, contrasted against a background colour of yellow or pale green. It was a young snake as it was only about as thick as my ring finger and maybe 30cm long.

Although these are placid snakes and don’t usually bite humans, their venom is highly toxic to humans so please be careful not to get too close.

Their are many crabs in the Gulf of Oman but this one was by far the biggest and more colourful that I have seen yet.  This species is what I know as a Flower Crab (Portunus pelagicus), also known as the blue crabblue swimmer crab. We can tell that this one is a male because his colours are so bright, the females have a duller more brown colour to their shell. This one was about the size of a dinner plate, I didn’t fancy standing on him in the water! These crabs are a delicacy to eat in parts of Asia because of their soft shell and yummy meat.
Sea Urchins washed up on the beaches are a common sight here but that doesn’t make it any more comfortable when you stand on one. I don’t know what species/breed/flavour this one is but I do know that they can be very sharp and the barbs break off whilst stuck in your foot. If you stand on a poisonous one the venom travels into your body through the puncture wound and can cause spasms, fainting and difficulty breathing.

The moral of this story is to show you the amazing things you can find in these tropical waters when you just stop and have a look and please be careful where you are standing! Investing in some aqua shoes may save you alot of pain in the long run.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Kristal Schneider 26/03/2013 at 2:36 AM

    The crab is so cool! I love the pictures of marine life with the species information you’ve provided!

  • Reply Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) 26/03/2013 at 11:49 AM

    We also get hammerhead sharks. I accidently wound up swimming with a group here. Scariest thing that has EVER happened to me in Oman. They didn’t care about me at all though.

    That photo of the crab is amazing.

  • Reply The Duncan Adventures 26/03/2013 at 12:43 PM

    Wow, I never knew there were hammer heads here!! That’s really cool, now I want to see one. Maybe not swim with it but I’d love to see it.
    Lol you must have been terrified. Glad it didn’t bite 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous 04/08/2014 at 2:45 PM

    This page truly has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and
    didn’t know who to ask.

    Also visit my homepage; ลดน้ำหนัก

  • Reply google plus authorship 11/01/2015 at 4:00 AM

    Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your
    blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

    Appreciate it!

  • Leave a Reply