The Tsuchinoko is a snake-like animal in Japanese folklore. They are distinguishable by their wide midsections and can grow to be 1-2.5 feet in length.
What is a Tsuchinoko?
Tsuchinoko (n): A Japanese cryptid that resembles a snake with an exceptionally thick middle.
[*] The Japanese word for Tsuchinoko means “child of hammer” or “child of dirt”. The dirt child name may come from it’s appearance, which is sometimes described as entirely black, including the eyes.
[*] Other Tsuchinoko are described as brown, blending in with a forest floor covered in leaves. Tsuchinoko of all colors are often described as having a bright orange belly.
[*] Tsuchinoko can be found in remote locations like mountains and forests, specifically those near Shikoku, Honshu, the Kyushu islands and on the Korean peninsula.
[*] Tsuchinoko sightings date back 1400 years.
What’s the difference between a Tsuchinoko and a snake?
[*] While the Tsuchinoko slither on their belly and are often compared to snakes, you would never mistake the two. Tsuchinoko have a very wide belly and are bigger around the middle than any snake. Their head and tail are the size of a normal snake head and tail, however.
[*] Tsuchinoko can make a chirping or squeaking sound as they move through their environment. It does not make the typical sssssnoise of a snake.
[*] One account says that Tsuchinoko snore while sleeping.
Are Tsuchinoko dangerous?
Yes, Tsuchinoko would be dangerous if you ran into one. They are well camouflaged, poisonous, and adept at hunting.
[*] Tsuchinoko are said to be poisonous, having fangs filled with venom in their mouths.
[*] A distinguishing characteristic of a Tsuchinoko is it’s ability to jump three feet in height. It can also perform a second jump while it is already in the air, or use it’s jumping ability to jump forward and strike unsuspecting prey.
[*] One legend says that the Tsuchinoko can bit it’s own tail so that it forms a hoop. It does this in order to roll down a hill at high speeds when it’s chasing prey. This is similar to the Ouroboros in Greek mythology and the legend of the Hoop Snake in urban myths in the US and Canada. The Hoop Snake was documented in a pamphlet about touring the U.S. in 1784. The author wrote, “As other serpents crawl upon their bellies, so can this; but he has another method of moving peculiar to his own species, which he always adopts when he is in eager pursuit of his prey; he throws himself into a circle, running rapidly around, advancing like a hoop, with his tail arising and pointed forward in the circle, by which he is always in the ready position of striking. It is observed that they only make use of this method in attacking; for when they flee from their enemy they go upon their bellies, like other serpents. From the above circumstance, peculiar to themselves, they have also derived the appellation of hoop snakes.”