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José María Morelos, Mexico

Cave of the Hanging Snakes

Cave where bat-eating snakes hang down from the ceiling.  

The yellow-red rat snake (Pseudelaphe flavirufa) is a small forest snake that normally hunts rodents, lizards, and other small animals in the ground. However, in a remote cave tucked away in the jungles of the Yucatan, these snakes have developed a creepy and incredible new way of life.

The Cave of the Hanging Snakes is actually known as the “Bat Cave” by the locals of the nearby village of Kantemo. This is because the cave is home to swarms of small bats that can often appear as thick as a frantic leathery cloud. In order to take advantage of this delicious flying rodent population, a population of snakes has taken to living in the ceiling and high up on the walls of the cave. From their cracks and crevices, they wait until the bats enter or leave the cavern in a swarm. Then the snakes dangle down and catch the flying bats in their mouths. The snakes do not seem to be put off by the increasing numbers of visitors who come to the cave to see their weird behavior.

In addition to the swarms of bats and dangling serpents, there is also a flooded portion of the cave that houses blind albino crustaceans. It’s possible that this is the creepiest cave in the world. Or at least the one that most resembles a Dungeons and Dragons setting.  

Know Before You Go

This is a cave. It is a tourist destination and the best known sight in Kantemo. Kantemo is a small village, so this place is not difficult to find.