The World’s Largest Gathering Of Snakes Is In Canada And It’s Totally Insane

Bet you’ve never seen an orgy quite like this one.

Every year, the Narcisse Snake Dens of Manitoba, Canada draw a mind-boggling mass of more than 70,000 garter snakes. The crawly creatures aren’t just there to kick it like a bunch of gossipy employees at a water cooler the morning after a new episode of Game of Thrones, though. No, no, there’s a bigger mission at hand here: These reptiles gather so that they can get it on.

Each spring, masses of red-sided garter snakes congregate inside limestone caves to form mating balls, in which up to a hundred male snakes vie for a single female. She, in turn, “is desperately trying to get out of the pit,” said [Paul] Colangelo, an environmental documentary photographer.

These slithery swarms appear to be a “frenzy, but a closer look reveals a much finer dance,” Colangelo said in his field notes. “The small males court the larger female by rubbing her head with their chins and maintaining as much contact between their long bodies as possible.”

I get that it’s the circle of life and all that jazz, but these snake pits still sound kind of scary. Fortunately, for both the snake-harassed Portland Trailblazers and this snake-fighting squirrel, Manitoba looks to be pretttty far from the Western United States.

Below, watch a short report on the Narcisse Snake Dens:

National Geographic via Sploid