Sure, it is quite normal to think that snakes can be dangerous and you should avoid them at all costs if you happen to be in a jungle. There is a good reason why some internauts call them danger noodles.
However, as dangerous as they might be, put a hat on them and they become cuter than any floof you may have seen on the internet.
And you know what, there’s an entire community celebrating their cuteness with hats. The Snakes With Hats community spread across several social media platforms, including Facebook and Reddit, and celebrates snakehood through sharing of the absolute cutest pictures of snakes wearing top hats, caps, bonnets, beanies, cowboy hats, fedoras, wizard hats, and everything in between.
Bored Panda has gathered some of the best pics from the community and compiled a list for you to check out. And while you’re scrolling, why not let us know what you think and vote on the ones you loved the most!
Bored Panda got in touch with the admin of the Facebook group, Liesbeth Dulcimer, and the moderator of the r/SnakesWithHats subreddit, DisasterLlama, who introduced herself as Emma, for an interview.
“The community was started around 2011-2012, and it all began with my snake Lola, who was very docile, wearing some hats. Soon, more and more people started to post pictures as well, and the page quickly grew large,” elaborated Liesbeth on the origins of the community.
The group soon surpassed 400,000 members, which was deleted by Facebook around 2015, but Liesbeth had a backup page and was rebuilding ever since, with over 155,000 members already.
“The Snakes with Hats community is now a safe space for both beginners, experienced keepers and reptile lovers in general. We’re currently working hard on a discord server that will launch soon,” said Liesbeth.
Soon after the Facebook community was created, in 2013, a community with the same niche goal also formed on Reddit. Since then, it has amassed a membership of over 43,500 people who share pictures of snakes sporting fashionable hats.
We asked out interviewees why people would keep snakes as pets in the first place.
"I can’t speak for everyone, but I think people who get snakes as pets recognize that these noodles are no different than any other house pets, excepting perhaps that they don’t travel well on slippery surfaces,” explained Emma. “Plus they have great personalities, are adorable, and, as I said previously, can be easy to take care of depending on the type. They also make great long term companions."
And before you start Googling it, most snakes live roughly 20 to 30 years, with some other species of snakes, like the boas constrictors, living 35 or more years.
“I feel the reasons to keep a snake vary greatly from person to person. I’ve heard of people keeping them to conquer their phobias, or even to help extract snake venom in rare cases, but the vast majority keep them because they are so cute, docile and versatile. No matter what your preferences, finances or experience level are, there’s always a snake that’s perfect for you,” elaborated Liesbeth.
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Besides being admins and mods, both Liesbeth and Emma are also snake owners.
Lola, Liesbeth’s python, was the inspiration behind this whole community back in 2012-2013, and she can still be seen in the cover image of the group. Unfortunately, she passed away of old age, and now Liesbeth has two corn snake rescues, Piki and Elvis, and a Red Tegu called Neo.
“Having reptiles is a must in our family. We’ve been raised around them, and they make for very rewarding life companions. To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby is to make people realize that reptiles are not the scary, slimy creatures one often sees in movies. Putting a hat on them helps to get that point across even more.”
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Emma is also the human companion of a python, and a famous one, in fact—Snakey the Ball Python.
"I have had him for almost 9 years now and he is a very curious boy. He loves music and exploring. Not a big fan of grass or pokey surfaces though."
Snakey has his own dedicated Facebook page where over 100,000 people follow him and all of his cutesy pictures, some of which you can find in this list!
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While it may sound like such an exotic pet requires a lot of care, Emma says it's much easier than that: "It’s not super challenging having a ball Python. Various kinds of snakes differ, but he is a very low maintenance pet. My one complaint is that it is kind of difficult to clean his tank, since it is so large."
For Liesbeth, it seems a bit more challenging, as she explains: “Keeping the temperatures and humidity exactly right could be quite the challenge. I’m always a bit paranoid about those!
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"I am a big fan of the snake Gandalf The White, who can be found on Instagram. This cutie is one of the snakes that started it all!" said Emma. And yes, people Gandalf wears random hats too!
Liesbeth also shared some of her favorites, including the aforementioned Snakey: “I am a big fan of Snakey the Ball Python and Winston the Tegu (not a snake, but still awesome). They are both great and their humans are very lovely girls with a never-ending supply of creativity.”
“The main goal with Snakes with Hats is to show people that reptiles are as worthy of existing as a cat or a dog,” said Liesbeth. “There’s a huge stigma around reptiles and keeping them as pets, and we aim to shed (pun intended) some positive light on the practice and its community. Everyone is welcome. We love to see all of your slithery friends soon, so we hope to see you at our community! And remember: afraid of it? Put a hat on it!”
Emma shares this view: "Snakes are not evil animals, and definitely not out to get you. Just look at how cute they are in hats! Give them a chance and you will be surprised at what gentle creatures they can be."