Watch This Ginormous Snake Defy Gravity and Climb Straight Up a Wall

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: April 5, 2023
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Although they’re one of the most feared animals on the planet, snakes are beautiful animals capable of incredible things. One of the most unique things these limbless animals can do is climb walls! 

A video surfaced on Youtube of a yellow rat snake doing just that! It’s leaving viewers in awe as it appears like some sort of optical illusion. So, how on earth is this happening? Snakes don’t have hands, feet, claws, or toe pads that stick to surfaces to help them climb. They can also swim, dig, glide, and even float. 

Snakes use the whole length of their tubular bodies to bend and flex while climbing. Although their glossy bellies appear to be unfit for climbing, they easily glide over tree bark and walls! If they had been rough, the movement of the reptiles would have been slowed by friction. 

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Tree trunks can be smooth or textured. Certain snakes can’t cling to smooth wall surfaces or tree trunks. Around the United States, experienced tree climbers like western rat snakes stay away from smooth-barked trees.

Yet, compared to mountains and woods, man-made walls are more challenging to scale. They have no branches or other bulges to grab onto and are fully upright. Depending on the material of the wall, a snake may or may not be able to scale it. 

A snake can scale a wall if it has ridges or grooves in it. Snakes are skilled at climbing stone and brick walls, for instance. To stay put, they cling to the spaces between the bricks.

Yellow Rat Snakes

According to our snake expert, the serpent in the video we linked below is a yellow rat snake. The yellow rat snake, an adult measures four feet on average. They can occasionally grow to seven feet in length. 

Yellow Rat Snake
Yellow rat snake looking directly into the camera.

©Patrick K. Campbell/

It is a semi-arboreal snake with a range of colors that is usually feisty but not venomous. There are often four distinct dark stripes on this species. When alarmed, all rat snakes will hiss and frequently vibrate their tails. 

When this creature is in dried grass or leaves, it will produce a whirring sound resembling a rattlesnake. Yellow rat snakes spend a lot of time in rodent burrows when underground. Yellow rat snakes, which are truly arboreal, frequently climb trees to catch and eat birds and their nests. 

The snake has been observed climbing as high as 60 feet to look for prey in trees. Climbing a wall, like in the video below, is no difficult feat for this slithering serpent. 


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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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