To many, snakes are terrifying no matter what they are. Even the tiniest of garter snakes can send an otherwise-brave soul running for the hills. But not all snakes are created equal. While some are perfectly harmless, and even kind of cute, others are just plain freaky and scary, even for the biggest snake lover you know.
The Cuban boa
Snakes are bad enough when they hunt alone, but now, according to CNN, scientists have discovered a species of snake that prefers to hunt in packs. Yep, snake gang’s — your worst nightmare come to life.
In May of 2017, a University of Tennessee scientist named Vladimir Dinets observed several specimens belonging to the Cuban boa species of snake gathering at caves and working as a group to catch fruit bats. They would strategically place themselves at the entrances of the caves, forming what’s basically a wall of snakes, making it way harder for the bats to escape.
The very idea of a flying snake sounds too terrible to be true, like something Stephen King might dream up. But nope, they’re real, because not even the skies are safe from those that slither.
Found mostly in Southeast Asia (according to National Geographic), the five known species of flying snakes don’t truly fly, per se, but they can climb trees, most likely to escape predators. They use the wind to glide from there on. That said, if a particularly large gust of wind gets them, they basically fly, and anyone who sees it basically has to get a change of pants.
Iranian spider-tailed viper
A spider-snake hybrid would probably cause more heart attacks than cholesterol, so it’s a relief such a thing doesn’t exist … kind of. There is, in fact, a snake out there that pretends to be a spider. And even though it’s not an actual snake-spider hybrid, it’s still probably the last thing anyone wants to see.
The Common Krait doesn’t sound or look like much of a threatening snake — until you realize how it attacks, and then you never, ever sleep again.
You’ve almost certainly heard of the black mamba and know it as a venomous, dangerous snake (or a dangerous, retired basketball player). But there’s a chance you don’t know the half of why the black mamba is so terrifying. It’s basically a horror movie monster brought to life.
Dubois’ sea snake
Underwater creepy-crawlies are bad enough, what with the fanged, translucent fish and cartoonishly large jellyfish. But Mother Nature just had to go and create highly venomous snakes that are perfectly at home in the water. Thanks a ton, nature.
The small-tailed burrowing asp
A snake bite is certainly bad, but at least you can kind of see it coming, what with the snake opening its mouth to hiss and attack. So of course, just to annoy us, nature evolved a snake that doesn’t need to open its mouth at all. That’s like Jason from Friday the 13th no longer needing a machete to hack you to death.
You may already know about the spitting cobra, but studies on them have shown have shown that they’re way more frightening than we even knew. Mainly because, when they spit, they know exactly what they’re doing and where their spit hurts the most.
In a country like Australia, where everything is legally required to be deadly and vicious, the taipan stands out as the continent’s most venomous snake. According to the Australia Zoo, taipans are incredibly fast, can reach lengths of up to three meters (just shy of ten feet long), and are ridiculously toxic. They don’t even need to fully bite in order to envenom their victim — all the need to do is make contact with the muscle and their job is done