‘Zombie snakes’ are real, but probably not what you think


“Zombie snakes” are very real, but they’re probably not what you’re thinking.

“Zombie snakes” are making national headlines after park officials in North Carolina recently posted photos on social media showing snakes exhibiting behavior similar behavior. 

“Who is this ‘famous’ NC snake? A cobra? A zombie snake?” North Carolina State Parks and Recreation wrote in a Facebook post last week.

It’s officially called an eastern hognose, or Heterodon platirhinos.

Park officials said zombie snakes (also known as “puff adders” or “blowing vipers”) are known for rolling on their backs and opening their mouths, often playing dead to prevent predators from attacking them. 

Additionally, they often hiss and puff up their necks when threatened. 

Officials said zombie snakes don’t bite but they will often strike after hissing. 

“If this does not deter the predator and if the snake is touched, it will writhe as if in pain and agony, turn over repeatedly, open the mouth, extrude the tongue, and evert the cloaca,” according to the Virginia Herpetological Society.

The snake is not much of a threat to humans, with North Carolina park officials calling it “a harmless one.”

According to the Florida Museum’s Division of Herpetology, there are no known recorded deaths from the snake.

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