Saturday, July 16, 2005

Flying Snakes and Serpents

Flying Serpents? Well here is my take…

A study of the paradise tree snake, in August 2002, has shown for the first time the extraordinary way the creature stays airborne. The Singapore snake, one of a family of flying snakes, has no wings or control surfaces. But, ignoring conventional aerodynamics, it is able to soar with the greatest of ease -- traveling distances of up to 330 feet and making mid-flight 90 degree turns.

Despite its strange flight behavior, the snake's aerial performance is on a par with that of other gliders such as flying squirrels, flying lizards, and even flying frogs. Socha said the timing of the start of the undulations suggested that they generated lift.

There are five species of flying snakes which belong to the Colubridae family. Most grow three to four feet long and live in the lowland tropical rain forests of southern Asia.

Scientists have only known about the creatures for the past century. But legends of "winged snakes" go back as far as the Greek historian Herodotus in the Fifth Century BC.

The Flying snakes above appear to be quite harmless but what about other reports of flying snakes or serpents?

OK, so flying snake do exist but what about…

In the late 1930s J.L.B. Smith a South African chemist made zoological history as the co-discoverer of living coelacanths, a large fish though to have been extinct for some 60 million years. After the discovery Smith became very fascinated with reports of sightings of animals thought to no longer exist. He corresponded with members of a German missionary family. They told him that while living neat Mt. Kilimanjaro, one member had a close sighting of a “flying dragon”. The “flying dragon” was known prior to their sighting by the local native population.

Another report, this time in Namibia (then South-West Africa) spoke to a group of native shepherds who had left their fields after complaining that their employer, the white owner of a large ranch, would not take seriously their insistence that a large flying snake lived in the mountains nearby. With no one else to watch over the livestock the farmer sent his 16 year old to the fields. When his son failed to return that nigh , a search party set out to look for him. He was found unconscious. After 3 days the boy recovered enough to relate his story. He said he was sitting under a tree when a sudden loud roaring noise startled him. As he looked up, he saw a large ‘snake like’ creature flying down from a ridge. The closer it got the louder was the roar. All around the sheep were panicked and scattering. The beast landed in a cloud of smoke and the strong smell of burned brass was present. At this point the boy was knocked out as he turned to flee.

Local police investigated examining the fields and marks reportedly left on the ground. The police party soon spotted the creature and observed it slipping into a crevice in the mountain. Sticks of TNT were thrown into the opening, after the explosion low moaning sounds were heard a few hours and the creature was never spotted again.

Similar reports came in from the United States in 1888 from South Carolina, another report came in from Kenya in 1974, as well as from Namibia again in 1988.

Wild stuff folks! I’ve never seen a flying snake but would not doubt that it is possible. It just makes one wonder about how many other creatures may be out there that we just do no know about, that’s why we need to continue to walk this Weird World of ours!

Well, that’s my thinking, but who knows what may turn up in the future to alter my opinion, that’s why I invite you to keep and open mind and keep walking in this big weird world of ours!

I’m Average Joe

1 comment:

Whats up Doc? said...

I love your blogs! Great pics too.