People in a small village in the southern India were enthralled by a rare display, as three snakes coiled and entwined in each other in a bizarre mating ritual. Filmed on Monday in the village of Arasaradivandal, in Tamil Nadu state, the three reptiles can be seen swaying and tangling up in each other. The serpents eventually split apart and slither back into a hole in the ground behind them, one by one.
It is not mating per se, but a battle for a male to define his territory and eventually win over the female for the right to mate. The atmosphere is palpable as the buzz of people reacted to each twist of the trio of snakes’s bodies. At one point the camera pans to show the hoards of people that were attracted to the peculiar scene. Dozens of people crowded around and took pictures and videos on their smartphones and professional cameras. A group of eight men even move closer to the hole the snakes retreated to, to get a closer look at the snakes which appear to be either an Indian Cobra or Rat Snake, two of the country’s most common and two that are known for this sort of behaviour.
The masses of people even seem to cause a commotion on the road where they congregated, with horns of trucks and other passing vehicles honking loudly. It is likely that two of the three snakes are male and they are both courting the female. The female snake may have secreted pheromones that attracted the males who are both vying for her love in dramatic fashion. If a sexually mature male catches her scent, he will follow her trail until he finds her.
The ritual can last up to an hour and while not overtly aggressive, it allows the male snakes to define their territory and defend their mates. Snakes are seen by Indians to be entities of strength and renewal in Hindu mythology. The snake is often used to represent the Naga, a deity or class of entity found in Hinduism and Buddhism, that may also explain the large crowds that congregated to witness the spectacle.
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