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Indiana Hiker Captures Video of Two Huge Rattlesnakes Blocking His Path and Doing Bizarre Dance

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Snake, rattle and roll: Indiana hiker shoots amazing video of two huge rattlesnakes in his path doing rare combative DANCE to fight for the attention of a nearby woman

  • Hiker Nick Engler spotted two male rattlesnakes blocking his path on the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana
  • The rattlesnakes were involved in a unique mating ritual that is actually a competition to court a nearby female
  • Although the snakes are venomous, they were very preoccupied with their own behavior and did not seem to notice Engler
  • Indiana is home to 32 species of snakes, four of which are venomous

A hiker in Indiana was blocked by two giant rattlesnakes that twisted around each other in a strange dance.

Nick Engler was hiking the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana, when he captured videos of the snakes moving back and forth in a combative dance as their heads are lifted a few feet off the ground.

Engler shared his video on Facebook, where it got a lot of reactions from people who were alternately shocked and intrigued.

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A hiker in Indiana was blocked by two giant rattlesnakes that twisted around each other in a strange dance

Nick Engler was hiking the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana, when he captured videos of the snakes moving back and forth in a combative dance as their heads are lifted a few feet off the ground

Nick Engler was hiking the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana, when he captured videos of the snakes moving back and forth in a combative dance as their heads are lifted a few feet off the ground

“These are two male snakes in ritual combat,” Engler noted below his message. Since the snakes in Indiana are in danger of extinction, he thought no one would believe him, so he started filming.

“They’re trying to claim dominance to impress a woman nearby. Neither snake dies and in this case not, one just slipped away after about 20 minutes of this.

“The way they were hung vertically was like those snake-like videos and it didn’t seem real at first.

‘I’ve never seen anything like it. From what I was told by some contortionists, this is extremely rare to see.’

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the state is home to 32 native species of snakes — only four of which are venomous — including the rattlesnake, which multiple commentators on Engler’s Facebook post said may have been the one it encountered.

Male rattlesnakes are known to participate in a strange mating ritual that looks like a battle dance when they both try to court a nearby female.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the state is home to 32 native species of snakes — only four of which are venomous — including the rattlesnake

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the state is home to 32 native species of snakes — only four of which are venomous — including the rattlesnake

Male rattlesnakes are known to engage in a strange mating ritual that looks like a battle dance when they both attempt to court a nearby female

Male rattlesnakes are known to engage in a strange mating ritual that looks like a battle dance when they both attempt to court a nearby female

In Engler’s video, the female isn’t visible, but she’s probably lurking somewhere nearby.

It is quite rare to see such a sight, according to experts, as these particular snakes are known to be more withdrawn and shy.

Rattlesnakes are really secretive animals, let alone in combat, but once you get there and see it, they are quite oblivious to the world around them. They’re focused on that fight,” Zoo Knoxville’s herpetologist Phil Colcouch said WBIR after a similar incident in 2019.

Wooden rattlesnakes can grow to 60 centimeters in length and are known to be viviparous, meaning they give birth to up to 13 live young instead of laying eggs.

They can also be found in much of the northeastern US – but usually don’t behave aggressively unless provoked.

Engler’s videos sparked a series of comments on Facebook.

‘I shouldn’t have seen that. Will probably give me nightmares. Glad you saw them first. Watch your safety.’ a user wrote.

“Absolutely unbelievable. A beautiful display. A great video. Thank you very much.’ another user wrote.

Earlier this month, a nationally renowned West Virginia rattlesnake expert died after being bitten by a wooden rattlesnake.

William H. ‘Marty’ Martin, 80, was killed when he was bitten by a timber ratchet on his property in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Martin – once described as ‘the ambassador of rattlesnakes’ – often hiked into the mountains and visited remote locations to document the snakes’ activity and record their numbers.

The other venomous snakes native to Indiana are copperheads, cottonmouths, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes.

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