A post about another strange and elusive creature for you, this time it is a hoop snake.
I am pretty sure you have probably heard of the Hoop snake before but I expect that you have never seen one, have you? Plenty of stories, always second-hand, but never any physical evidence. What a pity.
After reading a few accounts of Hoop snake attacks you should be glad that you have never been targeted by one of these beasts.
One minute you are just walking along, minding your own business, when suddenly a snake, horned tail firmly clamped in its mouth is wheeling towards you like a stray push bike tyre.
I am not sure that I would really be able to take such a creature seriously. I certainly can’t imagine that everyone who encountered these creatures would flee screaming before it. I really think that the overwhelming reaction would be more along the lines of “What the?!”
The poor girl in this article was chased for nearly a mile near South Mountain, Virginia, in 1884 by a hoop snake over 11 ft long before she dodged behind an apple tree. Luckily, the snake missed the turn and hit the tree.
Hoop snakes have a horned point on their tail that they hold in their mouth when they roll. The horn is supposed to be immensely strong and, as evidenced in this article, is able to pierce the trunk of a tree. Other accounts I read reported a tree which had been injured by this horn was soon dead from the terrible venom injected into it.
I would really love to find out more about this strange creature. One of the first things I would like to know is how do they keep an eye on they prey while they are wheeling madly down the road? I can’t imagine pinpoint accuracy being used in that position….
The other thing that came to mind was the thought of the snakes using their horn to bring down prey, which bought an interesting vision to mind. I am sure that there is quite a trick to unleashing the horn without completely stuffing up the roll and crashing to the ground, the snake ending in an embarrassing knot and a cloud of dust. Perhaps this is the reason why they are hard to find. Maybe they are really everywhere and are just living as normal snakes, far too self-conscious to hunt in the traditional manner 😉