Hi did you know some snakes can fly? No? Well enjoy the sh*tshow that continues to be 2020
Here are two things that are already pretty scary: snakes, and this entire godforsaken year. The bad news is, they both only get scarier (remember murder hornets?). If you’re looking for good news, you’ve come to the wrong article because there is no good news. Not here anyway! There is a breed of snake that launches and propels itself into the air. Yes, there is such a thing as FLYING SNAKES.
Officially, they’re known as Chrysopelea paradisi — the paradise tree snake — but there’s nothing remotely paradise-y about it. They come from South and Southeast Asia. Little was known about them until a recent study was performed by a team of scientists at Virginia Tech earlier this week.
Experts say the snakes glide through the air, so study lead author Isaac Yeaton said his research team set out to understand how they do so, according to CNN. The snakes make an “undulating motion” as they move through the air, and researchers had been curious as to why they did it. The team had a basic understanding of undulation, thanks to the work of study author Jake Socha, who has been studying the snakes for around 20 years.
You don’t strictly need to undulate to fall, so that leads to the question ‘well then why are they undulating,'” said Yeaton.
Yes, that is literally THE question on everyone’s minds. Or, more accurately, “How are there motherf*cking flying snakes on this motherf*cking planet.” (At least that’s how Samuel L. Jackson asks it in my mind.)
Apparently snakes have had this “base motor pattern” built-into their ecology for millions of years (sweet baby Jesus, you’re telling me they’ve always had the ability to fly?!). The undulation is how the glide stabilizes and stops the snake from tumbling — and it gives them better distance.
Speaking of horrific creatures that this year hath wrought upon us, remember murder hornets? Were they a real thing or was nature just temporarily f*cking with us? WHO CAN SAY?
If they are in fact a concern, as they were reported to be earlier this year, here’s the lowdown: The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, has been found in the U.S. recently, and, according to The New York Times, has been known to kill around 50 people a year in Japan, with similar numbers in China. What’s more, it has the potential to eradicate the U.S. honey bee population, which is already in decline in recent years. Which sucks, because honey bees are extremely important to our ecosystem.
So, 2020, what’s next? Flying alligators? Killer cardinals? Soaring knife-fish? Okay, so maybe that last one doesn’t even exist. YET.