Evolution really went all out for Stargazer Snake Eels, it wanted mean & ugly, well you got it. During the daytime hours you will find them like this one, though usually a little more buried, this one was obviously hungry, hoping that a wayward damsel or another tasty fish would swim over near him so he could gobble it up it one go. They actually do that btw, these guys don’t have time for chewing, it’s bite, swallow, repeat.
As mean & ugly looking as they are, I don’t think they pose any real danger to photographers or divers, maybe just keep your fingers away from his face and avoid poking him. This one didn’t seem to mind me either, quite a few species of Snake Eel are timid, like the Marbled Snake Eel, which will pop down under the sand if you get too close. Stargazers though seem to be pretty unperturbed by divers, so they make for good photography subjects.
This one in particular was the first Stargazer Snake Eel I’d ever seen, it was rather shocking to see his massive ugly head poking out of the sand just underneath me. I at first thought it was a Crocodile Snake Eel, but you can easily ID those because they have the eyes almost where their nostrils should be that also face permanently forward, where as Stargazers look much more like your normal sand dwelling eels, with side facing eyes that can rotate forward.
If you go night diving, you have a much better chance at seeing these types of Eels out hunting, which means seeing not just their head. They don’t mess around either, if they find a Goby hole and think something is in it, they will bury themselves down that hole like one of the worms from Tremors and snatch up anything that didn’t have the good sense to leave!