Soldier Wrangles Deadly Cobra With His Bare Hands in Nerve-Racking Video

Cobras are among the deadliest snakes in the world, but you wouldn't know it by the way one soldier handled one recently with relative ease.

A viral video posted in Reddit's "Unexpected" forum has been upvoted over 18,000 times. It includes footage of a soldier eyeing a cobra while myriad military personnel look on, many recording the event on their phones.

The cobra is seen "standing" with an intense gaze at the soldier, who stays patient while bent over on one knee. Then, he crouches down and slowly rides his hand up the snake's body and over its hood before grabbing it and standing up to show onlookers.

A soldier wowed a crowd of military personnel by coolly snatching a snake in a video that's gone viral. According to zoo officials, most cobras can stand as tall as a third of their body length. iStock/Getty Images

The origin of the video or where it took place is unclear.

One Redditor said cobras can't attack from an upward angle, so they keep their focus point higher than their head.

"They have basically evolved to be really good at striking downwards," the user said. "See how [the] cobra keeps standing up, it would be hard to gather strength for upward jump from that position. [The] human equivalent would be trying to jump without bending your knees."

Herpetologist Sara Viernum told Live Science that "the most distinctive behavioral characteristics of cobras are their defensive displays."

"These include hooding, hissing, and raising the upper portion of their bodies to stand erect," she said. "Most cobras can stand as tall as a third of their body length."

Cobras stand not only to signal an attack but also to search for food.

The San Diego Zoo said cobras are venomous and related to coral snakes and mambas, all of which are members of the Elapidae family.

"Snakes in this family cannot fold their fangs down, as vipers can, so the fangs are generally shorter," the zoo said. "They kill their prey by injecting venom through their fangs. The venom is a neurotoxin that stops the victim's breathing and heartbeat."

Cobras typically attack when feeling threatened.

The soldier's experience definitely isn't the norm, especially in places like India where snakes are commonly used for various displays.

In 2021 an Indian woman gained Instagram notoriety for safely conducting tricks with a cobra. But in 2022 an Indian snake catcher had the opposite outcome, as he was bitten by a cobra above his knee and spent multiple days in an intensive care unit.

Some also associate with snakes for provocative reasons or inflict potential harm on others.

A Texas man was arrested in 2022 after releasing a deadly West African Banded Cobra snake into the wild, breaking Parks and Wildlife Code. And in mid-March of this year, an Indian woman reportedly used a cobra to scare people into giving her money and was being pursued by authorities.

That woman was reportedly a snake charmer, which drew varied responses in the Reddit thread about the soldier. One user called snake charming "animal cruelty," adding that snakes' fangs are either removed or their mouths are sewn shut to prevent bites and, hence, a venomous aftermath.

"I don't know if it's the case but even without its fangs, the snake should try to bite when the guy [grabs] it," one user replied. "Maybe this one is accustomed to being handled by the guy."