The majority of snakes in North America are non-venomous, meaning that although they should be respected, there’s no real reason to fear or attack one when you see it.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know that, which is one reason that the North Carolina State Parks and Recreation department has declared this the “Year of the Snake.” They’re looking to educate people about snakes by clearing up common misconceptions in order to help us peacefully co-exist.
Instead of watching clouds to see if we can keep weekend weather on track, let's play a game! Who is this “famous” NC…
To that end, they posted a picture of a common snake (there are 37 types of snake that call North Carolina home – 31 of which are harmless) on their Facebook page, asking people to guess what the species was.
In the picture, the snake is clearly pretending to be dead, flipping on its back, hanging its tongue out, and even emitting a foul musk to really sell the performance.
“Instead of watching clouds to see if we can keep weekend weather on track, let’s play a game! Who is this ‘famous’ NC snake? A cobra? A zombie snake? It’s a harmless one. Learn more in our “Year of the Snake” program!”
The snake is a Heterodon platirhinos – an eastern hog-nosed snake – and it doesn’t only fake its own death as a form of protection. The snake can also flatten its neck, raise its head off the ground, and hiss, mimicking the much more dangerous cobra (and other venomous snakes).
The hog-nosed snake does strike, but it’s really more of a head-butt, since it doesn’t typically bite large prey.
The snake is a bit of a drama queen, and people are obsessed with zombies, so it’s only natural that people are loving the pictures – and the info – about the eastern hog-nosed snake.
I mean. Not that I’d want to wake up to him in my sleeping back, but otherwise…he’s okay.