Angry-looking ‘snakes’ spotted lurking in tree, but everything is not as it seemed


    Numerous amazing and distinctive species can be found on Earth and in its natural habitat. Seeing how different species interact with one another and change with their surroundings to survive and maintain the balance of their ecosystems is quite wonderful. It makes sense that when I saw pictures of three “angry snakes” sheltering under a tree, I became curious. And I’m not the only person these amazing photos have tricked.

    When three serpents are seen together in a tree, it can send shivers down anyone’s spine. Finding a single snake in a tree might be extremely scary. Thankfully, the striking images depict something quite different than snakes.


    The vast diversity of species found in nature, numbering in the millions, is known as biodiversity. Each species performs a specific purpose within its habitat.

    Over time, many plants and animals have also developed amazing adaptations and survival techniques. For example, certain insects have developed poisonous substances to protect themselves from predators, while others have evolved colors that mimic their surroundings to elude them.


    The internet started to distribute pictures of three “snakes” with angry expressions, which further exposed this fact. A picture that Rob Allam posted on Twitter back in 2021 confused some since it appeared to show three “serpents” sheltering in a tree, all of whom appeared to be furious. But consumers quickly discovered there was more to the story than first meets the eye.


    The trio of “snakes” is only a piece of the wings from two different species of the Atlas moth, which together form an optical illusion.

    This amazing species of Asian forest-dwelling beetle has the unusual ability to replicate the appearance of a snake. With a wing surface area of more than 160 cm2 (25 in2) and a huge wingspan of up to 24 cm (9.4 in), the Atlas moth is one of the largest species of Lepidoptera.

    There is a noticeable size difference between the Atlas moth’s body and wings. The body is much smaller. Carl Linnaeus made the first observation of one of the largest insects on the planet in 1758. It takes its name from the Titan Atlas of Greek mythology because of its enormous size.

    Rob, a Twitter user, shared the trending image and added the following explanation:

    “Attacus Atlas is one of the biggest butterflies in the world. It barely survives for two weeks as an adult. Its main goal at this stage is to conceal itself as a snake while laying eggs and protecting them until they hatch,” the author explained.

    Many social media users first had trouble believing that the thing was indeed a moth.

    “That disguise is really good,” one user wrote.

    Surprised, a different person commented, “How is that top one not an actual snake? If it didn’t seem like I wanted to beat this moth with a broom, it would live longer. Atlas moths are not powerful or stable flyers, unlike what the general public believes. To save energy, these moths would rather sleep during the day and fly around throughout the night.

    According to the National History Museum, the Atlas moth uses a protection mechanism when it senses danger. It hits the ground, writhes, and deliberately flaps its wings to resemble a snake’s head. The Asiatic tropical jungles are probably the only places where one can witness the amazing sight of the Atlas moth. On the other hand, reports of seeing Atlas moths have also been made in other parts of the US and Europe.

    In 2012, the BBC reported on an amazing sighting of a large Atlas moth that they claimed to have seen on a windowsill in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester. The family who discovered the moth initially mistook it for a bat because of its enormous size. It is believed that the uncommon species escaped from a private collection. Sadly, not long after it was found, it died.

    This is a very historic photo of another example of an Atlas moth taken in July 2022 in Bellevue, Washington. Since it was the first recorded sighting of this species in the US, it was a historic event. In 2022, a second one was found in Sweden.

    The state Agriculture Department’s managing entomologist, Sven Spichiger, clarified, “This is a ‘gee-whiz’ type of insect because it is so large.” “Even if you aren’t looking for insects, these are the kind that people pull out their phones and take pictures of because they are so striking,” he continued.

    If I were to come across this amazing species, I think I would be filled with amazement and shock. My initial impulse would be to grab my camera and take pictures of the sight to preserve the moment as memorable as possible. But if I noticed that it was beginning to resemble the head of a snake, I would stay well away.

    To help more people learn about this massive and intriguing moth, would you kindly consider sharing this page on Facebook? Its remarkable attributes and uncommon occurrence outside of its normal habitat make it worthy of notice and appreciation!