Video captures Georgia snake’s bizarre ‘death dance’

GEORGIA — What looks like a snake’s final moments is actually one of its finest theatrical performances.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources posted video of an eastern hognose snake performing what’s called a “death performance” on its Facebook page.

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A scientist captured the bizarre moment in Georgia while collecting scientific observations earlier this week.

DNR said that when the snake feels threatened, it flares its neck and body by breathing in deeply and then expelling the air with an “impresssssive” hiss. If that doesn’t work, a hognose snake will forcefully roll onto its back and begin to writhe violently as if in terrible pain.

“During this ‘death performance,’ the snake may also evert its cloacal vent, regurgitate its stomach contents, defecate, release musk and even bleed from its mouth. Talk about dedication,” DNR wrote on Facebook.

After the “performance,” the snake appears to be lifeless and limp, hoping that its potential predator moves on.

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The video received more than 38 million views and there are more than 12,000 comments on the Facebook post.

"HELP! There's a hissing cobra in my house and its...it's dying?" Nope, not a cobra. In fact, it's not even a venomous snake! It's actually just a native eastern hognose putting on the theatrical performance of its life. When this creepy critter feels threatened, it flares its neck and body by breathing in deeply and then expelling the air with an impresssssive hiss. If that doesn't work, a hognose will forcefully roll onto its back and begin to writhe violently as if in terrible pain. During this 'death performance,' the snake may also evert its cloacal vent, regurgitate its stomach contents, defecate, release musk and even bleed from its mouth. Talk about dedication. Afterwards, the snake will appear lifeless and limp, confident that all potential predators have decided on a different main course. What do y'all think - does the hognose deserve an academy award? 🎥 Video recorded by a person under a scientific collecting permit. Never harass wildlife species. #SnakeLife #Snakes #Wildlife

Posted by Wildlife Resources Division - Georgia DNR on Tuesday, October 26, 2021