It’s just wonderful that snakes are now getting legs, or, as this science YouTuber put it—being given their legs “back.”
After constructing mechanical legs to assist a python in “walking,” a madman’s nightmarish video has gone viral, gaining millions of views in just a couple of days.
Allen Pan, who professes to adore snakes, said in a video uploaded to YouTube on Saturday (August 13) that he “feel[s] bad for snakes” because “they lost their legs” to evolution.
And actually, he’s not wrong. Roughly 150 million years ago, snakes had visible legs.
In an effort to make up for that injustice, he created a robotic exoskeleton suit for them to wear.
The outcome? A lucky python was given access to a ridiculous 3D-printed exoskeleton that allowed her to walk around like she was the boss.
Pan drew attention to the fact that snakes’ legs haven’t completely disappeared; rather, they continue to exist whilst a snake is still in the uterus. And even through birth, they still have leg-like features.
“It turns out that snakes do have two legs when they’re embryos,” he explained, “but their DNA is all fucked up so the genes that are supposed to grow two legs, uh, grow two penises instead.”
“They can’t walk on those,” he added.
Pan ended up choosing his second version of the exoskeleton with four legs—two in front and two in back, similar to the Western three-toed skink, a lizard with four teeny tiny legs—that featured a long tube, which snakes could easily get in and out of as they liked.
“I actually feel bad for snakes; they lost their legs and nobody is even trying to find them—nobody except for me,” he says in the video.
“When any other animal has deformed legs, humanity comes together to spit in god’s face and we built that animal awesome new cyborg legs.”
He said his initial attempt caused too much snake droopage. While the snake doesn’t control where the robot walks, he made some suggestions as to how that might be done
Pan contacted a snake handler and breeder who goes by the handle “Granddaddy Herp” in order to test the rig. They were able to fit a very large and gorgeous yellow ball python inside the robot suit, and the snake was able to move around using the legs.
That was sufficient evidence for Pan to accept the proposition that snakes do, in fact, “want their legs back.”
The YouTuber remarked, “I cannot get over the image of the snake crawling into its robotic exoskeleton.”
Pan concluded by saying he successfully reversed “150 million years of evolutionary mistakes” in a single day.
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