A North Carolina woman was jogging when she stumbled across an unexpected nature scene.
Jessica Jackson was jogging on a trail in Charlotte, North Carolina, when she saw something moving in the shrubs. She stopped to take a closer look and was shocked by what she saw in the bushes.
According to WBTV, Jackson had stumbled upon a snake mating ball. All different kinds of snakes were wrapped up in a ball in the shrubs.
"I just saw what I thought was one big snake and I looked down and it's probably 10 to 20 different snakes," Jackson told WBTV.
Jackson snapped and shared a photo of the ball of snakes after making the discovery along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. She posted the photo on Twitter account with the caption: "Watch out on the greenway today guys???? My nice walk turned into a sprint race really fast."
After seeing the snakes and taking a couple of quick pictures, Jackson quickly left the area.
"I would have taken more but I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could," she said. "As terrified as I was, my first instinct was 'pics or it didn't happen.'"
Others jogging in the area that day saw snakes along the greenway as well.
"Right under the tunnel is a black snake probably about 3 or 4 feet long that scared the crap out of me," jogger Bryan Neil said.
David Crow of Critter Control in Charlotte said that snake mating balls are actually fairly common, particularly in the spring.
"Snakes are coming out of hibernation and they're beginning to mate," Crowe said. "So they're sunning in very obvious places."
As CBS News explains, male snakes will swarm over a female snake after noticing the scent of her pheromones, forming a mating ball. The males then compete to mate with the female by engaging in nonviolent combat.
Though the snakes may intimidate those running on the trail, they don't post much of a threat to humans. According to CBS News, of the 37 species of snakes native to North Carolina, only six are venomous. The venomous species of snakes in North Carolina are the copperhead, cottonmouth pigmy rattler, canebrake, diamondback, and coral snakes.
The snakes in Jackson's photo appear to be brown water snakes and northern water snakes. Crowe said that the northern water snake is the type of snake he sees most often in North Carolina.