Snake Appears to Have Tied Itself in Knot Then Died on Porch

A snake appears to have tied itself up in a knot and then died on a porch, a Reddit post shows.

The photograph, uploaded by the Redditor InspktrGdgt, shows a snake lying dead outside, with a knot in the middle of its body.

Snake
A stock photo shows a snake. A Reddit post revealed a picture of a snake that died after tying itself into a knot. JMrocek/Getty

"This snake that knotted themselves up and died on my deck," a caption to the photograph reads.

It is possible for snakes to do this to themselves by accident. The behavior has mostly been observed in pythons and boa constrictors, species that coil around their prey in order to suffocate it. It is not clear which species of snake is in the Reddit photo.

Many Redditors have commented on the post, which has had more than 60,000 reactions, suspecting that the snake did not get like this on its own.

"With the experience with snakes I have I would says I've never seen a snake get themselves into a knot they couldn't easily get out of. Especially not a tight one? How would a snake honestly tie themselves [into] a tight knot like this," one Reddit user wrote.

"Bro.. did you tie a snake into a knot?" commented one user.

Another Redditor wrote: "I've heard before that snakes can't actually tie themselves in knots like that, and imagining a scenario where a snake decided to and had the full physical capability to have its front half go full speed ahead and its back half go full speed backwards while it just so happened to be twisted around itself is implausible to say the least. Someone left him like that."

The most likely scenario for this is a rare disease called inclusion body disease (IBD), which was first discovered in the 1980s. In snakes, the Ebola-like virus affects the central nervous system and can cause them to tie into knots and die.

Snakes with IBD will also display other strange behaviors. Some have been observed looking up to the sky and being unable to flip over when on their backs. Infected snakes can also act "drunk," displaying strange movements such as moving their heads back and forth.

Again, the virus mainly affects pythons and boa constrictors. Once the snakes have accidentally gotten themselves knotted, it is very difficult for them to become untangled without help, but IBD does not usually cause very tight knots.

InspktrGdgt commented on the Reddit post, saying they lived alone and couldn't imagine "someone sneaking into my back yard in the middle of the night to do this."

"I don't like snakes. I don't touch snakes. I saw this in the morning, snapped a pic and then used a leaf to push it into a bucket and threw it in the compost," the Reddit user said.

The user said if they find more evidence of how this happened, they will post it.