Have you ever heard the crazy legend of the "hoop snake"?

I'm a lover of all things cryptozoological. Sure, I'm also a big-time skeptic, but in the sense that I still believe in all these things, I just want them to be proven real by normal standards. Even scientific, if you will. But until a couple of days ago, I'd never heard that the first-ever sighting of the legendary hoop snake was right here in Maine.

Waaaaay back in 1665, the hoop snake was discovered by John Josselyn, brother to the governor of the District of Maine, as it was known back then. He wrote about seeing and killing 80 of them in May of that year. He said they came rolling out of a den and he described them in vivid detail, according to this article from Christopher Packard.

So what do these scary beasts look like?

According to legend, they're anywhere from 9 or 10 feet to several yards long, were black in color, and had a stinger on their tail. When they would chase a potential victim, they would latch onto their tail, turn into a hoop shape and start rolling after their would-be meal at an extremely high rate of speed.

Allegedly the only way to escape one, was to run and jump over a fence, which would then cause the snake to drop out of its round shape, and straighten itself. This would cause the hoop snake to give up on its chase. But that's only the beginning of the amazing feats this cryptozoological bad boy was capable of.

If there was a shark to jump, so to speak, this is where it happens.

As if the story doesn't seem far-fetched enough, allegedly the venom of this snake was pretty much out of this world. Supposedly, if a hoop snake missed its prey and hit a tree, the tree would basically swell up and explode. Even our own beloved Paul Bunyan had a run-in with a hoop snake near the Great Lakes.

Supposedly a hoop snake missed and hit one of Paul's peavey handles, and it swelled up so large, as it was made from a tree trunk anyway, that Paul Bunyan managed to chop the handle into 946 cords of wood. That's a lot of lumber. But apparently, it wouldn't burn and just sat unscathed in the fire.

Bangor has its own cryptozoology bookstore.

The folks who own the awesome cryptozoology museum in Portland have a satellite location here in Bangor. In fact, in the not-so-distant future, the Museum itself will be located here in Bangor permanently. If there was ever a place you could go to get all the hoop snake knowledge you need, that'd be it.

It's cool to have such rich folklore in our state. Obviously, there probably isn't actually a venomous snake that rolls around turning trees into woodpiles and moving at some 60mph. But you can't say it's 100% impossible, right?

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