So, I want to warn everyone in advance before diving into this interesting/terrifying bit of information I’m about to share with you, but…snakes just got a little scarier, guys. It’s a unique defensive technique that is really only found in rat snakes. They do it when startled... Well, that snake might not have been dead after all. Not if it was a Black Rat Snake.

What is a Black Rat Snake?

According to the Northern Kentucky Tribune, Black Rat Snakes are one of Kentucky’s largest snakes in existence. They are a common, non-venomous constrictor that can reach six feet or more in length. The coloration of the snake varies, but they’re usually shiny brown to black, and sometimes gray. Adults are nearly all black, and their heads are slim with round eyes.

Also, they may act aggressively when cornered. They are also “accomplished tree climbers and valuable predators.” Just FYI.

Black Rat Snakes Have a Unique Way of Defending Themselves

But perhaps the most interesting/terrifying bit about Rat Snakes is the way they defend themselves.

A Facebook post shared by Lake Barkley, a large lake and camping resort located in western Kentucky, revealed a defense technique used by these snakes called the “Rat Snake Kink.”

"It’s a unique defensive technique that is really only found in rat snakes. They do it when startled to break up their silhouette and make themselves look more like a twisted root or branch instead of a snake!" - Lake Barkley Facebook

🐍 Rat snake kink‼️

It’s a unique defensive technique that is really only found in rat snakes. They do it when startled...

Posted by Lake Barkley on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Rat Snake Kink is a unique defensive technique only found in Rat Snakes. It enables them to break up their silhouette to make themselves look more like a twisted branch or root instead of a snake. And according to all of the pictures I’ve seen, these snakes are very good at it.

Photos shared by people who’ve found Black Rat Snakes in their yard have shown a “braided” look to the snake’s skin that resembles the grooves in a stick or branch. It’s believed that the kinking technique helps the Black Rat Snakes blend in better with their surroundings.

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So, Just Leave the Kinky Snake Alone, OKAY?!

Look, I’m not saying you should enter into a newfound snake phobia or be scared to pick up fallen sticks in your yard. But the next time you see a kinked snake that appears to be dead – maybe don’t pick it up with a stick out of curiosity. Or better yet, maybe just give it a wide berth and be better off not knowing how alive it might be.

Snake Encounters In Western Kentucky

Many of the residents here in Owensboro-Daviess County and a few surrounding counties are proving that snakes are pretty adaptable and just want to be a part of your everyday life.

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