This Snake Has Tentacles! It Has Tentacles!

Illustration for article titled This Snake Has Tentacles! iIt Has Tentacles!/i

The tentacled snake, Erpeton tentaculatum, has tentacles coming out of its nose. It lives in the water, using its tentacles to hunt fish. And it kills them by using their hard-wired survival instincts against them. With their tentacles.

That picture above is a scanning electron microscope image of the head of a tentacled snake, the closest thing to Cthulhu ever to slither around the waters of Cambodia. It doesn't just look all-knowing and evil. It's born all-knowing and evil. First of all, let's address those tentacles. They're not horns or little inert curlicues. They're actual tentacles, and the snake can waggle them around.

It uses them to ascertain the position of fish in the water without having to look around. This is good, because even during the day, the snake does not go looking for fish. It lets fish come to it, staying perfectly still, and when they get within range, it does something diabolical. When a fish feels a wave coming towards it, it will turn away from the wave. This happens immediately and every time, even if the wave just comes from a droplet falling into the water.


The snake curls its body around in a question mark. When the fish is in the right spot, the snake moves its lower body, sending a wave out. The fish turns away from the wave, instinctively trying to escape! And it heads right into the jaws of the snake. Here's a video, showing the process at various speeds.

See? Pure, Lovecraftian evil. But also really cool!

[Via Born Knowing]

Top image: Kenneth C. Catania

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


What a cute mustached snake!