Ever been in a situation, maybe backed into a corner, or felt threatened to the point that you have to basically become someone else in order to get to safety? Humans have a pretty good survival instinct along these lines. But snakes probably have us topped. Recently, we were treated to a video that showed a snake performing a “death dance” appearing to be something completely different, and putting on a show that will pretty much wow you.
In a wild video that was posted on Facebook by Georgia’s Wildlife Resource Division, we get to see a native eastern hognose snake putting on a display of what it looks like when they are trying to get another predator to back the heck off. It’s a pretty crazy set of moves put on by this snake, all in the name of safety. For humans, this would be the equivalent of just screaming like a mad person, swinging your arms and limbs all akimbo, maybe even pulling down your pants for a true crazy effect, and then talking in tongues. It’s all here with this snake’s death save. Check it out.
The Wildlife Resource Division is able to give a pretty solid breakdown of what is happening here and why it looks so wild. To start, the eastern hognose snake already looks a bit like a cobra with a wider area near its head similar to the hood. If that’s not enough, first the snake begins with a little hissing, meant to give a predator the easy way out. After that it starts to flash a few quick movements, coiling up and writhing around like it, itself, has been poisoned in some way. This is meant to send the signal that eating the snake at this point would be a very bad idea.
And it’s not shown during this portion of the video, but apparently, the snake is willing to go to pretty extreme lengths to not get eaten. After spinning around in terrifying circles with its mouth agape and all manner of twitchiness happening right out of a horror movie, it will then really dial up the theatrics. In an effort to go all method here, the snake can even make itself bleed from the mouth. It’ll do anything to make sure others get away as fast as possible without getting violent including even letting out a foul odor from its body. It’s got the whole crazy playbook at its disposal.
The good news is that even if a human stumbled on an eastern hognose snake, death dance or not, there wouldn’t be all that much to worry about. Though the snake looks rather intimidating, it is nonvenomous to human beings. It can kill smaller prey and will take a bit at a human if need be, but we don’t have all that much to worry about here. If you see it start to go through the performance, just let it ride, because this snake will pull out all of the stops.