Flying Snakes are apparently a thing, and no we’re not talking about Snakes on a Plane.
On Monday, scientists from Virginia Tech published new research that took a deeper look into Chrysopelea paradisi or the paradise tree snake. As CNN points out, this snake is known for propelling itself through the trees of South and Southeast Asia. Experts claim that the snakes have found a way to glide through the air, so study leader, Isaac Yeaton, and his team decided to figure out how.
According to their research, the snake makes an undulating motion as it moves through the air—a move that all snakes make when they’re moving on the ground.
“You don't strictly need to undulate to fall, so that leads to the question 'well then why are they undulating,'” Yeaton said.
One theory is that undulating is a move all snakes need to make to move. But, Yeaton said that they now know undulation stabilizes the snake so it can glide through the air and not tumble. It also allows them to cover distance horizontally.
Researchers carried out experiments on live snakes at Virginia Tech, with Yeaton describing the work as a “big step forward,” as they’ve been studying the snake for nearly 20 years.
They are now going to study snakes gliding from trees in an outside environment. By doing this, scientists will learn how the snake generates lift and how it turns in the air.
“As soon as you watch it you're like 'how does it do that?” Yeaton said before explaining how polarizing snakes can be.
And... FLYING SNAKES! pic.twitter.com/oeTMb4DA6D— GreG GrunberG (@greggrunberg) July 1, 2020
“We have a visceral response to snakes,” Yeaton said. “Then the idea that this animal can then fly is very unsettling to people.”
You can say that again.