Flying Snakes: These Snakes Glide Through the Air

Gihan Jayaweera, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If pigs could fly, we’d have a lot more bacon lying around, but if snakes could fly, we’d have a lot more fallout shelters everywhere. But here’s the thing: in real life, pigs can’t fly, but snakes CAN. Yes, snakes can fly. Well, glide actually, since they aren’t capable of flying like birds. But, still, look at this:


Imagine hiking through the woods and having one glide right onto your head. Wouldn’t that ruin your day a bit? And that’s without mentioning that these airborne reptiles are mildly venomous. They would certainly spice up Indiana Jones films, although the snakes would probably be poorly executed CGI. This is what one of these gliding snakes look like up close:

Chrysopelea taprobanica at Kandalama

If you’re deathly afraid of snakes, this is certainly nightmare fuel. have no fear…unless you live in Southeast Asia because that’s where all five species of these gliding snakes reside. All five species are in the genus Chrysopelea, and remarkably, without wings or limbs, they can actually glide better than flying squirrels and other gliding animals.

In a fascinating video by National Geographic, a gliding snake chases after a gliding lizard. Seeing one gliding reptile is rare enough, but seeing two in the same place is legendary. You can see where humans drew some of their inspiration for dragons other other mythical reptilian beasts.

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