“Silent but deadly,” says text captioning a video doing the rounds on Facebook in South Africa.
The video shows an odd-looking snake, which, as the caption to the video says, is “crawling around like a caterpillar”.
The snake is described as a “Gaboon viper” which is “found in Africa” and has “one of the highest venom yields of any snake”.
The video has been flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system, so we investigated the creature shown and if it yields more venom than most other snakes.
Found in western and central Africa
Impressive fangs, lots of venom
This means “the result of a strike can range from no effect to rapid death”, according to the Smithsonian in the US.
However, the venom is weaker than in other snakes, and this means only a large quantity of it can kill.
A 2004 study of the venom in the Gaboon viper concluded that the snake produced the largest quantity of venom of all poisonous snakes, “yielding in excess of 2 grams of dried venom per milking”.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
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Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.