I Am Getting Very Sleepy: Video Of A Snake's Hypnotic Defensive Display

January 24, 2019

This is a short video of a rhombic egg-eating snake (Dasypeltis scabra) in South Africa demonstrating its hypnotic defensive display, which includes a couple of fake lunges for good measure. Some more info while I dig my pocket watch out of a desk drawer and hypnotize a coworker into going to get me some coffee. Just remind me to tell them to look both ways before crossing the street this time:

Their diet consists completely of undeveloped bird eggs. They are almost completely devoid of teeth and are unable to break human skin, rendering them completely harmless (and defenseless) to us and other animals. To make up for this, they have developed an impressive defensive behavior where they form a coil and rub their rough scales together to make a rasping noise. While doing this, the snake will gape and mock strike at the "attacker", missing intentionally, as a real strike will show the attacker precisely how harmless this snake actually is. This defensive behavior is all a big act and is assumed to mimic the superficially similar, but highly venomous, Saw-Scales Viper found further north in Africa and Asia.

Mother Nature, am I right? "What about her?" She's stopped returning my calls. "What did you do this time?" Nothing -- I thought we were doing so well together! I thought maybe we were even going to take things to the next level. Wait -- who are you texting? "She says you told her she has nice tits for a 4.5-billion year old." And how is that not a huge compliment?! You don't hear anybody raving about Father Time's penis, do you?

Keep going for this video, as well as another of the same behavior almost as if it's taught in snake school.

Thanks to Closet Nerd, who agrees Hypnosnake is clearly here to give Hypnotoad a run for his money.

  • Homestar

    He looks so happy in the the title gif.

  • Mike Gover

    I can see this little one must be a master at that game everyone played on their nokias....the way its able to move around itself without biting its own tail.

    What was it now....? I forget. You guide a line around the screen to pick up dots and you keep getting longer.

  • Lucky Unit

    That's one angry pretzel.

  • captaindash

    Hypnotoad is on cable. This is the online competition version. Doesn't let you log off.

  • Alf in pog form

    Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning on an ever spinning wheel. It's like the circles that you find In the windmills of your mind.

  • Homestar

    Or, you know, a snake.

  • Tigerh8r
  • Closet Nerd


  • Homestar

    Yeah, kinda

  • The_Wretched

    mushroom mushroom, OH! it's a snake.

  • ChungLingSoo

    That is so cool! If I saw that I'd be really scared to go near it.

    I'd also probably be found standing there days later still in a hypnotic trance from looking at it.

  • Munihausen

    Very cool, and much less kill-y that the saw scaled viper.

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