It’s always my fear that I am walking in one of our beautiful parks and then tragedy happens. I would stop, look up and there would be a big snake hanging over me. Well, if you were recently at the Congaree National Park in South Carolina you may have passed this not-so-suspicious hiding snake. The snake was trying to blend into the forest canopy but it was doing a great job. The photo shows it was spooled out like a python along a limb that was thin by comparison.

The snake was identified by park officials as an Eastern rat snake, a native species that are not venomous but is large and aggressive. Snakes of the Eastern Rat Snake species are usually shy and slow-moving. You might see one on the ground, on the water, or resting on a tree branch,” the park wrote. “If you do see one hiding in the trees, take your photo from a distance!” The average is 6 feet in length, but the record is about 8.5 feet, according to the Virginia Herpetological Society. The snakes can weigh nearly 5 pounds, too, so one falling from a tree limb could leave a lump on passersby.

When threatened by a predator, rat snakes emit a foul-smelling odor. According to the National Wildlife Federation, this musk mimics what poison would taste like. Congaree National Park, about 15 miles southeast of Columbia, contains 27,000 acres of the species so be careful if you take a stroll!

According to the Congaree National Park, “Eastern Rat Snakes are common in Congaree National Park and along much of the East Coast. They are non-venomous, but, like all creatures, should be given space. So, if you do see one hiding in the trees, take your photo from a distance!”

You can read more on this crazy snake story here.

GALLERY: List of Animals Native to North Carolina

As found by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige