Hoop Snake Picture

Hoop Snake – North America / Canada

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A Hoop Snake is a unique cryptid that has the ability to roll downhill at impressive speeds to catch its prey. It is similar to the Japanese cryptid called the Tsuchinoko.

Cryptid Name:Hoop Snake
Location:North America / Canada
Map of wherer the Hoop Snake is found
Category:Folklore Cryptid
Description:A snake that can form a hoop by biting its own tail which allows it to roll downhill at incredible speeds. It has a venomous tail.
Size:Diameter of a mature Hoop Snake when hooped: 1.60 feet / 0.5 meters.
Behavior/Characteristics:Hoop Snakes are said to chase prey by rolling into a hoop shape.
Habitat/Environment:Mountains, forests, rivers.
Evidence:There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of the Hoop Snake.
Sightings and Encounters:Sightings and encounters are reported in folklore, but these are typically tall tales and stories, not credible evidence of its existence.
Skepticism/Explanations:The Hoop Snake is widely regarded as a mythical creature and is not considered a real species by the scientific community. The stories about its abilities are viewed as exaggerations and folklore.

What Does The Hoop Snake Look Like?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many descriptions of what the Hoop Snake looks like. The only descriptions we have of it describe its ability to grasp its tail in its mouth forming a complete circle or hoop. It then is able to roll down a hill very quickly allowing it to catch even the fastest of prey.

Hoop Snake Picture
Artist’s Impression of the Hoop Snake

The Hoop Snake Legend

The legend of the Hoop Snake can be found in a book called, “Fearsome Critters” by Henry Tryon which details the lumberjack cryptid folklore of the United States.

A well-known menace. Its existence is thoroughly established by numerous reports from highly creditable parties. The characteristics appear to be about the same in all regions. Its habit of tucking its tail in its mouth and rolling at incredible speed in pursuit of its prey, or a fancied enemy, is not duplicated, fortunately, by any other member of the animal kingdom.

The tail ends in a stinger carrying venom of such power that a dose of but 0.003 p.p.m. is sufficient to make even the leather-skinned Hodag turn green and swell up and die inside of an hour. No wonder that folks wise in woods lore are wary of this circular engine of destruction. He may travel on just one cylinder but that’s all he needs.

The speed reached in rolling is nothing short of remarkable. A full-grown jack-rabbit is pie for this Snake. A mature Snake, when hooped, has a diameter of 1.5923 feet. He has been clocked, after being enticed onto a cleverly designed rolling metered platform at an r.p.m. of about 1056, or a straightaway speed of some 60 m.p.h. The only way to outrun him is to climb over a fence. The Snake must unhoop to get through.

There are many authentic cases of death from this reptile’s venom; possibly the most convincing bit of data is that, in a fit of pique, a Hoop Snake stung one of Paul Bunyan’s peavy handles. Of course, this handle was a sizeable stick to start with, but the venom swelled it to such dimensions that Paul cut it up into 946 cords of wood. And then the dang stuff wouldn’t burn. Just lay in the stove and hissed.

Fearsome Critters
Hoop Snake Sketch
Sketch of a Hoop Snake
Source: Fearsome Critters

Is the Hoop Snake Real?

As far as we know the hoop snake is not real. Just like other cryptids, there is no scientific evidence to prove that it exists.

Here is an article from a newspaper called the Youngstown Vindicator dated 30 September 1972 which answers this this question.

Newspaper article answering the question whether hoop snakes are real.
Youngstown Vindicator – 30 September 1972

That said, in Japan, there is a very similar cryptid called the Tsuchinoko that is incredibly famous and there have been many sightings of it over the years. It is so famous in fact that there is a prize of 1 Million Yen that will be given to anyone who is able to capture one alive!

Similar Cryptids


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