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You’re invited to the world’s largest gathering of snakes
It’s hard being a snake. All they want to do is wrap themselves around you and give a big hug, but when they show up at parties everybody else leaves – shrieking in fear and running for the exits.
Don’t be sad, snakes, just move to Canada, where you can join 75,000 of your slithering brothers and sisters at the annual ‘Gathering the Snakes’.
This deeply unsettling occasion takes place in the Narcisse Snake Dens of Manitoba, and was recently captured on camera (above) by National Geographic. Apparently the gathering has now become a tourist attraction with as many as 4,000 visitors during peak season. Yes, you heard correctly, some people actually choose to travel to the snake dens for a closer look.
What are all these snakes doing here?
According to the National Geographic’s report, masses of red-sided garter snakes gather to mate – a ritual which involves up to a hundred snakes vying for a single female. Its about as horrifying as it sounds, with females “desperately trying to escape” the sea of writhing reptiles.
The grouping of such large numbers has to do with the surrounding marshes which make perfect conditions for snakes. There are also limestone crevices, so that when the temperature drops to -40 in winter, the snakes can disappear into these enormous underground chambers.
Want to learn more? Read the full report at the National Geographic.