The Hoop Snake is a legendary cryptid primarily associated with Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Carolina and British Columbia.


The Hoop Snake has been described as resembling various different types of snake, but the one feature common to all types remains the same: while the Hoop Snake can slither along like a regular snake, when hunting, it grasps its tail in its own mouth and rolls like a wheel to increase its speed. In this form, the Hoop Snake greatly resembles the Ouroboros from Ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology.

The Hoop Snake is referenced in a 1784 letter published in the Tour in the U.S.A., reprinted below.

"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."


In one variation of the Hoop Snake tale, the serpent is able to straighten itself at the last second of its charge to impale the victim with its poisonous tail.


Although there are still occasional sightings to this day, the scientific community at large does not accept the existence of the Hoop Snake as an actual animal. Most people believe that the snake was a story made up by lumberjacks in times of boredom like so many other North American cryptids.

Further reading

"The Hoop Snake" from Fearsome Critters (1939) by Henry H. Tryon

"Hoop Snake" from Paul Bunyan Natural History (1935) by Charles E. Brown

"The Hoop Snake" from The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps (1928) by Lakeshore Kearney

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