5 min read

You Can Watch Thousands Of Snakes Hang Out Together

Awesome 😍or terrifying 😱?

For most of the year, the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba, Canada, are quiet. There’s no commotion and nothing of note to see — until spring arrives. For a few weeks in April and May, red-sided garter snakes emerge from their winter dens to mate, and all anyone can see during that time are lots and lots of snakes

Tens of thousands of snakes, to be exact. 

To a lot of people, this may sound like a nightmare — but there’s something so captivating and intriguing about having so many snakes essentially taking over the entire area, covering every inch of the ground. Even if you’re not at all a fan of snakes, you still might find yourself wanting to know more about this incredible event. 

The Narcisse Snake Dens consist of four active dens, and have viewing platforms built along each one so people can marvel at the incredible amount of snakes all gathered up together. There are so many that they completely cover the floors of the dens, and at first they look more like vegetation than live animals — until you realize that the vegetation is actually moving. The area is perfectly set up for the needs of the red-sided garter snakes, and so there they’ve stayed for years and years, and every year they emerge again to amaze everyone from miles around. 

There are a good deal more male snakes than female snakes living in and around the dens, and once they all emerge, there are usually around 100 males surrounding each female. Depending on the weather, the exact date they come out each year varies, and due to a chilly April, this year they appeared closer to the end of May. After spring, the snakes take a break for the summer and then return to the dens in the fall, where they're visible until the weather becomes too cold and wet and they retreat underground again until spring.

People come from all over the place during the spring and fall to check out the thousands of snakes gathered together, and even those who are terrified of snakes can’t help but be amazed by it all. 

The area has become quite the attraction, with gigantic signs … 

… and realistic-looking statues all over the place … 

… but of course, the main event is seeing the snakes.

The officials of Manitoba of course urge everyone to be respectful of the snakes in and around the dens, as it's their home first and foremost and their safety is a top priority. Everyone else is just a visitor, all gathering together to watch thousands of snakes and be reminded of just how cool our world really is.