Agkistrodon piscivorus is a venomous snake, a species of pit viper, found in the southeastern United States. Adults are large and capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal bite. When antagonized, they will stand their ground by coiling their bodies and displaying their fangs. Although their aggression has been exaggerated, individuals may bite when feeling threatened or being handled. This is the world's only semiaquatic viper, usually found in or near water, particularly in slow-moving and shallow lakes, streams, and marshes. The snake is a strong swimmer and will even enter the sea. It has successfully colonized islands off both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The generic name is derived from the Greek words ancistro (hooked) and odon (tooth), and the specific name comes from the Latinpiscis (fish) and voro (to eat); thus, the scientific name translates into “hooked-tooth fish-eater”. Common names include variants on water moccasin, swamp moccasin, black moccasin, cottonmouth, gapper, or simply viper. Many of the common names refer to the threat display, where this species will often stand its ground and gape at an intruder, exposing the white lining of its mouth. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here. Its diet consists mainly of fish and frogs but is otherwise highly varied and, uniquely, has even been reported to include carrion.
Offshore (1979) is a novel by Penelope Fitzgerald. It won the Booker Prize for that year. It recalls her time spent on boats on the Thames in Battersea. The novel explores the liminality of people who do not belong to the land or the sea, but are somewhere in between. The epigraph, "che mena il vento, e che batte la pioggia, e che s'incontran con si aspre lingue" ("whom the wind drives, or whom the rain beats, or those who clash with such bitter tongues") comes from Canto XI of Dante's Inferno.
"Offshore", when used relative to hydrocarbons, refers to an oil, natural gas or condensate field that is under the sea, or to activities or operations carried out in relation to such a field. There are various types of platform used in the development of offshore oil and gas fields, and subsea facilities.