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‘Fantastic Grandmas’ Have Been Spending Retirement Photographing Venomous Sea Snakes for Science

rami mahfouz

While some people might prefer to kick back and relax in their golden years, these 7 older women prefer to spend their retirement swimming after venomous snakes in the ocean.

The Fantastic Grandmas is a volunteer research group made up of pensioners who have found their passion through helping scientists learn more about the snakes around Lemon Bay, New Caledonia in the South Pacific.

The hardy women typically don their scuba gear for a research expedition at 7AM. Over the course of the day, they may swim as far as 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) in search of snakes.

The grandmas are the only volunteers to conduct research on behalf of the University of Caledonia. Prior to their first group expeditions in 2017, university sea snake researcher Claire Goiran believed there to be only a few different species of sea snakes. The Fantastic Grandmas have since documented about 262 species of snakes and their vital roles in the undersea ecosystem.

One of the Fantastic Grandmas, 70-year-old Monique Mazière, has been retired for 10 years. When Great Big Story asked why she and her senior gal pals were conducting research on such dangerous creatures, she simply laughed and said: “And why not grandmothers!?”

“We could think grandmothers are only good for making jam or knitting,” she added, “but not us. This is our sport.”

(WATCH the Great Big Story video below)

 


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