Most of us never want to get up close and personal with a rattlesnake. For me, there are few things more terrifying than the sound of a snake’s rattle, which is used as a warning to any surrounding predators. If ignored, you risk the chance of being bitten by these venomous creatures, which can cause severe health issues or even death.
Aside from risking your neck by searching the woods for one of these creatures, most of us don’t have a real opportunity to closely inspect the snake’s unique and somewhat mind-boggling rattle. Fortunately for us curious folk, the people at What’s Inside? have given us the chance to see how the snake’s defense mechanism really works.
The curious father and son duo of Daniel and Lincoln Markham obtained a rattle from a snake in Texas with the intentions of finding out what’s really inside. They used a simple boxcutter to carefully cut the rattle in two, which was much more of a challenge than they expected.
Surprisingly, the rattle is actually mostly hollow inside. The shell itself is made of keratin, the same fibrous protein that makes up our fingernails. When the keratin moves against itself, it makes the distinctive rattling noise that sends shivers up our spines.
Want to see for yourself? Click below to watch the Markham’s dissect a rattlesnake’s rattle for their YouTube series What’s Inside?