There are many reasons not to go outdoors. We are in the midst of a pandemic, going outside is expensive, and 99% all murders are committed by other human beings.
Now we can add flying friggin' snakes to the list of things that are likely to kill us all.
Chrysopelea paradisi, the scientific name for the paradise tree snake, has been launching itself at the poor folks of Southeast Asia, has baffled scientists for a long time. Snakes are meant to be on the friggin' ground (and the hell away from me) but these creepy little bastards seem to glide. Well, a team of scientists and snake-botherers at Virginia Tech has presented their findings in a recent publication.
All snakes slither as they move along on the ground but the paradise tree snakes make similar slithering motions as they fly through the air. "You don't strictly need to undulate to fall, so that leads to the question 'well then why are they undulating,'" said lead author of the study Isaac Yeaton.
The initial hypothesis of the behavior is that the snakes leaping from trees was just a force of habit from millions of years slithering on the ground, but the scientists then believed that undulation stabilizes the glide and stops the snake from tumbling, as well as allowing them to cover more horizontal distance.
From there, the scientists spent hundreds of hours watching the snakes glide from tree to tree in an attempt to analyze the way the snakes are able to turn in the air and generate lift.
"As soon as you watch it you're like 'how does it do that?'" said Yeaton, who added that this might be why so many people are afraid of the reptiles.
"We have a visceral response to snakes," he said. "Then the idea that this animal can then fly is very unsettling to people."