In the forests of Arunachal Pradesh, India, a team of researchers found a new pit viper left undiscovered until 2019 during a herpetological expedition in the area. Pit vipers in general are very similar, they are usually bright green, around a foot long and 12 pounds in weight, and venomus. So what makes this viper so unique? The males of this new species all have an orange stripe running down the sides of their bodies. They also have a different number of teeth but the thing that really makes this snake special is it’s name. Researchers have dubbed the snake Trimeresurus salazar or more commonly called, Salazar’s pit viper. The snake was named for Salazar Slytherin from Harry Potter!

For those of you who do not know, Salazar Slytherin was one of the four founders (Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Huffelpuff being the other three) of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter book series written by J.K. Rowling. Salazar Slytherin is heavily associated with snakes, the main animal in the crest of the  Slytherin House. He was a parselmouth (he could speak to snakes), and after a falling out with the rest of the founders he left a giant monster in The Chamber of Secrets to purge the school of those he deemed unworthy of learning magic. That monster was, you guessed it, a giant snake! All that said, I think Salazar’s Pit Viper is a very fitting name for this little guy.

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