Many of nature’s deadliest creatures are quite obviously threatening just by sight. After all, you don’t have to look at a lion or a bear for too long to realize that the animal has the potential to cause some serious damage!

Other creatures pose much more subtle threats, and these animals can actually be more dangerous, simply because you wouldn’t think by their appearance that there’s anything to worry about. South America’s mata mata turtle is one such creature.

The bizarre-looking reptile spends most of its time blending into the debris at the bottom of ponds and streams, barely moving and only occasionally breathing through it’s snorkel nose… but when an unsuspecting fish swims by, this turtle strikes with deadly force.

In its natural habitat, the shallow streams and ponds of South America, the mata mata turtle is virtually indistinguishable from other debris like leaves and rocks lying at the bottom of the water.

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The weird-looking reptile hardly ever moves except to sneakily crane its neck upwards and take a breath from the surface using its long, snorkel-like nose.

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When an unsuspecting fish happens to wander into a mata mata turtle’s line of sight, however…

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…This normally slow-moving creature strikes its prey with unbelievably deadly speed and accuracy. Just watch what happens when this turtle sees its next meal!

You’d never expect a turtle of all creatures to be able to strike like that! It’s almost snake-like, but far more subtle…

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