Weird Snakes!

Perhaps the title seems a little redundant, since many people think that snakes are weird by definition. However, in keeping with the Halloween spirit, we’d like to introduce you to some of the oddest snakes out there. Like the ghouls, freaks, and grotesque haunts of this pagan holiday, some snakes have managed to make their way into the extra creepy hall of fame. Without further ado, here are our “award-winning” candidates…!

What’s eating you, buddy?

Kingsnake eating itself

Going one step further than Hannibal the Cannibal, is our first NOM-inee, “eating himself” into our hall-of-fame. This photo has made it’s rounds to the point where I have no idea who to attribute it to, but appreciate the chance to highlight the great dilemma snakes that like to eat snakes, must face on a daily basis. If reptiles had Darwin Award winners, this little California King Snake may just take the grand prize! At least he won’t die of starvation.

Frankensnake!?!

Frankensnake

One of the most viral snake stories of 2009, was compliments of this one-legged weirdo who was discovered in a lady’s home in China during the night. She immediately killed the nightmare-ish mutant, and pickled it. Though scientists believe that snakes once roamed the earth on legs, this critter seems to have swallowed a large lizard that subsequently ruptured through the side of the snake, making it look like the handy-work of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein.

The better to bite you with!!!

Two-headed snake

This two-headed albino Rat snake named We, was born at the World Aquarium in 2006. Though this conjoined mutation is not incredibly rare, it is rare for the twins to live to adulthood.

What’s scarier that a scaly reptile???

scaleless rattlesnake

For those of you who think that scaly animals are creepy, I would like to introduce you to exhibit A. Only when I see this scaleless rattlesnake from the Barcelona zoo, do I come to the realization that reptiles are much less frightening with scales, than without! These scaleless mutants are the by-product of man-kinds attempt to selectively inbreed certain genetic traits, to the point, that (genetically speaking), all heck breaks loose. To each his own, but I am personally not a fan of these inbred freaks!

Is there something on my Face?

tentacled snake

This naturally occurring “weirdo” is found in the waters of Southeast Asia. While the Tentacled Snake is a known oddball, the functionality (if any) of its tentacles seems to be debatable. It’s an ambush predator feeding on small live fish, which means that your odds of coming across one of them in a dark alley on Halloween night, are very slim.

Honey, where did you leave the iron?

elephant trunk snake

Photo courtesy of Myke Clarkson – See http://mykeclarkson.com

Another homely aquatic species is the Elephant Trunk Snake. These wrinkly, saggy Shar peis of the snake kingdom, reminiscent of the scaleless rattler above, are nature’s poster-children for plastic surgery. That’s a face that even a mummy couldn’t love. 🙂

I’ve got no strings to hold me down….

rhino rat snake

Pinnocchio may not be a fearsome Halloween character, but this freshly hatched Rhino Ratsnake, born in London Zoo, certainly makes for an odd, if not funny looking snake. Perhaps it gives them character, and I do think they are kind of cute, but I feel they deserve a spot in our Halloween Spook alley!

Here comes the clown… of your nightmares!

Rhinoceros Viper  Bitis nasicornis

The wildly colored, morbidly obese Rhinoceros Viper might look like look the part of the bulbous-nosed, big shoed comedian, but packing some of the longest fangs in the snake world, sporting those sinister twin horns on its nose, and carry a devastatingly venomous bite, you wouldn’t want to hire him to entertain at your kids birthday party! This clown is more along the lines of a Stephen King thriller!

Does this branch make my nose look big?

Madagascar leaf-nosed snake   Langaha madagascariensis

I “Wiki’d” (Get it? “wicked”) this critter, and though it is similar to the aforementioned Rhino Ratsnake, this male Madagascar Leaf-nosed snake seems just a tad freakier. Who needs a costume when you look like this naturally? As a tree dwelling snake, this odd appendage makes for good camouflage from the prey animals it hunts.

Look Ma, No cavities!

african rock python

This photo is compliments of yet another fear inducing viral email with so many sources, that it is impossible to track down the photographer. This African Rock Python, which found its way into an electric fence shows that you don;t have to be venomous, to put a good scare into trick-or-treaters! I think I’d rather take candy from strangers, thank you very much!

Welcome to the real freakshow!

freak show

At this time, we at Snake Buddies, would like to remind everyone, that no matter what natural oddity may be discovered in the wild, the grand-prize for the freakiest side-show attractions in the world, will never fall to any animal other than humans. Every animal fills an important niche within our ecosystem, and though many snakes have evolved to acquire odd physical appearances, they are masters of their habitat.

We hope that you all have a very fun and safe Halloween!

Snake Buddies


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11 Responses to Weird Snakes!

  1. Pingback: Gallimaufry « No damn blog

  2. merewoman says:

    I find it hard to love the scaleless rattler, and the elephant trunk thingies. They look as if somebody let out all the air.

  3. Thanks for the comment, merewoman! They are not for me either! Sadly, this mutation arises when breeders attempt to pass on or improve specific genetic anomalies through inbreeding. If this goes on long enough, all heck can break loose, and you end up with scaleless freaks or snakes without eyes etc. A snake without scales would never survive in the wild. I believe in breeding snakes, so that they don’t have to be collected out of the wild, but some breeders definitely cross ethical boundaries, in my opinion.

  4. G. S. Feet says:

    Hey guys 🙂
    I personally can’t handle snakes. I think they are some of the most elegant and beautiful creatures in the world, but quite honestly, they scare the poop out of me. Still, I don’t believe in killing anything, snakes, spiders, rats, etc that isn’t actively trying to harm me or mine. I’m not a super tree hugger or anything, but I figure we (and that includes serpents as well) are all just trying to get by in this crazy world as best we can. If you want to see how I reacted to my last serpentine encounter check here: http://grocerystorefeet.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/a-laymans-observations-of-applied-herpetology/

    That said, I’ve got two questions about this post. First, could the scaleless snake survive even in captivity? How would he move? Seeing as he’s a rattler, as long as he had his pits intact he could hunt, but how would he catch anything? Second, is the little king snake doomed? I know in the wild he probably would be since I think snakes’ alimentary canal only flows one way, but if this happens to a pet snake, can they be saved? I’ve wondered that ever since first seeing that picture on some crazy site.

    This is an interesting place. I’ll be back from time to time for sure.

    • Welcome to our crazy site, G.S.,
      We appreciate the comment and the questions! Scaleless snakes have very rarely been encountered in the wild. They are typically a by-product of excessive inbreeding, in an attempt to selectively breed rare or sought after genetic mutations, and therefore are observed much more frequently in captivity. Scales do aid in locomotion, but are not exclusively responsible for getting a snake from point A to point B. There are various types of locomotion within the snake kingdom, (think Sidewinder vs. Anaconda) and they can still move (though not as efficiently) without scales. Scaleless snakes do, however, have chronic shedding issues, and would not be expected to survive very long in the wild, as their scales also serve as a barrier of protection from a rough environment that would quickly lead to injury, and potentially life-ending infection.

      As for the gluttony of the King Snake, this does occasionally happen with captive snakes, and veterinarians as well as a few snake keepers have been successful in saving these snakes from their own appetite. Snakes do have the ability to regurgitate meals, so it is possible that a wild snake could save itself as well, so long as its survival instinct trumped its feeding response.

      Those are great questions, and I hope you do find your way back to our blog. We’ve got some fun articles in the works. We love hearing from folks on the opposite side of the snake spectrum, and it is always inspiring to find those rare types that fear snakes, but still understand their value as allies in our existence. I’m excited to read your encounter. Take good care!

      Your resident Snake Buddy,

      Jamison

  5. pythonpro1 says:

    I personally find the file snakes adorable. They’re the right mix of weirdly cute and down right ugly, in skin that’s just too large for them!

  6. Pingback: 2010 in review | Snakebuddies' Blog

  7. Kevin Hanson says:

    So not only we have a scaleless rattlesnake, we must a rettleless rattlesnake….

  8. Shaun Vought says:

    Jamison,
    I agree with you about the scaleless atrox but I have to disagree with you about the elephant trunk snakes. I think they are very cool looking and the fact that they are almost exclusively aquatic adds another dimension to their uniqueness.

    The other Snake Bubby
    Shaun Vought

  9. Becky the animal lover! says:

    hey!
    how come there are these kinds of mutant snakes around?
    I LOVE their creepy looks, but these snakes in the ‘Hall of Fear’ is a bit too creepy.
    if in the future snakes are like these…
    I won’t want to live to see this cruel sight…

  10. Pingback: 11 Animals With Genetic Mutations That Make Them Uniquely Awesome | SociALB

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