June 18, 2008
Schlangenwolle
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Herpetologists across the world are astounded at this image captured by one of our very own Strange Trippers. Yes, it is a young urban street snake which has somehow emerged from its winter lair with its its furry winter coat intact! As you probably know, these coats are usually shed prior to emergence, so this is a rare sighting indeed!

You may recall that in 19th century Germany, quite an industry grew up around this natural product. Daring youngsters would creep into the lairs and shave the slumbering serpents, bringing the fuzzy stuff in to sell at mills where it was woven into Schlangenwolle, highly prized for its warmth, water-resistance, and iridescent quality. Unfortunately, the practice led to many deaths, both of frozen snakes and intrepid youth, and was eventually banned in 1887.

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