Hoop Snakes: The World’s Deadliest Snake

Australia is home to many of the most dangerous animals in the whole world. It’s understandable why foreigners would think Aussies are mad to want to live here.

Perhaps Australia’s called the Lucky Country because those living in it have been lucky enough not to have been killed by any of its fauna yet!

From spiders and crocodiles to sharks and snakes, and don’t forget (the very real) drop bears , Australia is full of all kinds of creepy crawly creatures.

It may come as a shock that it’s not a shark or a croc that comes with the biggest danger signs — one of the deadliest of all of Australia’s creatures are hoop snakes.

Don’t just assume that weird round thing on the ground is more scared of you than you are of it. It could cost you your life!

What Is A Hoop Snake?

yellow hoop snake

As if the word “snake” wasn’t enough to give you an idea that this creature is pretty dangerous, the hoop snake takes it up a notch. A good way to pick a hoop snake is that they don’t slither, they roll.

A hoop snake puts their tail into its mouth and bites down, making a hoop shape, which is where it gets its name from. These guys can roll at 60km per hour— that’s pretty quick.

Hoop snakes tend to live to be around 8 years old and can grow to be 1.5 metres long. They come in a variety of colours, from a light olive green to even black.

The fact they can appear in different colours makes them hard for reptile experts to determine if they’re dealing with a hoop snake or a less aggressive one.

The hoop snake is often out down to just a myth, much like the drop bear. But let the team at Mars Campers assure you that they are very real.

It’s too bad that Steve Irwin never did any episodes of The Crocodile Hunter on hoop snakes to shed some light on these creatures. We guess that even he knew not to mess with them!

Where You’ll Find Hoop Snakes

camper trailer on the road

Aussies love to claim things that aren’t Australian as their own, but just like Russell Crowe and the pavlova, we have to concede that the hoop snake isn’t a uniquely Australian animal.

Our hoop snakes have relos over in New Zealand, Canada, and America. Let’s have a squiz at the hoop snakes both here and across the pond and see how they differ from one another.

Australia

As Australia is the holy land for snakes, it goes without saying they live throughout the country, especially in the outback.

Most of them live in Victoria and Tasmania. The Victorian snakes love the caves at Wilsons Prom as it’s an ideal breeding ground for them. Tourists should stay clear of this area during mating season.

The Tassie snakes live near Sisters Beach, around the north-east corner of the island state. Tassie’s snakes live in sand dunes and use the dunes to build speed while rolling down to easily kill its prey.

New Zealand

hoop snake on the bench

You’d be forgiven for thinking that hoop snakes are like something out the Lord Of The Rings. But unfortunately, these dangerous creatures have nothing to do with movies.  They are very real and very dangerous!

The Kiwi snakes are particularly fond of the local sheep. They say there’s more sheep in NZ than people, so this would be why the local sheep cop it more than the human Kiwis do.

At least if you get attacked by a hoop snake in the bush, you’ll still be able to enjoy how scenic NZ is.

Canada

Although most snakes live in hot places, the hoop snake is anything but normal. Being the weird creature that it is, there are hoop snakes in the cold, snowy country of Canada as well.

The Canadian wilderness is mammoth in size, but the Canadian Rockies are particularly impressive. Being snakes, Canada’s hoop snakes live around the foothills of the Rockies.

So, if you ever go to Canada and head to the Rockies, keep your eyes seriously peeled.  Hoop snakes are even faster when they’re moving along the ice, so it’s best to keep your wits about you.

America

They say America is the land of the free, and hoop snakes certainly seem to roam free around the U.S. of A.

To be more specific, hoop snakes have been reportedly seen around the St. Croix River that’s along the Minnesota-Wisconsin state border, giving it plenty of water to swim and hide in while hunting its prey, (and we hate to break it to you, but that prey is you).

Hoop snakes have also been spotted further east in Wake County, North Carolina. Why these snakes live so far apart is anyone’s guess.

American hoop snakes are the boldest, boisterous, and definitely the loudest type of hoop snake in the world.

American snakes slither and prance around like they own the place. If hoop snakes from different countries got together, we reckon the American snake would have an ego about it. The other snakes would roll their eyes along with the rest of their bodies.

cta

Eating Habits

Like every other lifeform on Earth, hoop snakes love digging into a bit of tucker. Like normal snakes, they tend to like to eat the furry little creatures, like rats, mice, bilbies, quolls, and certain insects. Hoop snakes are into humans, too.

Breeding Habits

Hoop snakes don’t have a particular mating season. However, like most animals, spring is the biggest breeding time.

The females will seek a new mate every year and will eventually lay a batch of 10-15 eggs. Mumma snake has to sit on the eggs for about 4 weeks, although it’ll go on walkabout towards the ocean to find some krill to eat to upkeep its body fat reserves.

How Hoop Snakes Attack Their Prey

hoop snake in between rocks

Like the snakes in the 2006 classic Snakes On A Plane, hoop snakes strike from above. Being the creepy, sneaky creatures, they are, hoop snakes will wait at the top of a hill or any high place for prey to appear.

Once it gets lucky, the hoop snake will roll towards its prey, gaining speed as it goes.

Unfortunately for anyone who’s unlucky enough to cross its path, hoop snakes are also highly venomous.

However, it’s not the fangs you have to worry about. Hoop snakes use the tip of their tail as a stinger, just like scorpions do. Since it moves damn fast, you won’t know what hit you until the venom has well and truly spread through your bloodstream.

Here’ the yuck stuff: If you are unlucky to get stung by one, you’ll experience vomiting, headaches, and even temporary blindness and paralysis. Their venom is ridiculously poisonous, and there’s no known antidote. Strewth!

How To Survive A Hoop Snake Attack

Back when Australia was more like an empty plain, we understandably had to learn how to prepare for being attacked by Australia’s many dangerous animals, and that most certainly included hoop snakes.

 To this day, Aussie school children in remote areas practice evading hoop snake attacks. One minute they’re playing kick to kick with one another, and the next minute …

 One method is to smear Vegemite around bits of their bodies, so it acts as a repellent to hoop snakes. If that doesn’t work, run.

Since hoop snakes aim to bite your bum, Australia’s major retail stores will sell buttock protection equipment.

Available in different sizes, you just simply slide the thick pieces of cardboard on your behind. Australia is the world’s leading manufacturer and importer of buttock protection equipment; the most useful thing Aussies have invented since Wi-fi and the hills hoist.

Be Prepared For Hoop Snakes While Camping

Don’t let one of the deadliest creatures in existence put you off camping around Australia. If you’re looking for a tip-top camper trailer to take with you around the country, Mars Campers sell premium camper trailers available in our stores located around Australia. Contact us by calling 1300 667 868 today!

(Okay, we gotta admit that we fibbed, as hoop snakes aren’t real. But we weren’t fibbing about helping you have a bonza camping trip, so give us a call!)cta