As a part of a demonstration of military force, men ate and drank blood from lives snakes, some even cobras.
Special forces in Indonesia demonstrates to Mattis their ability to eat snakes. pic.twitter.com/I24p5adzsG
— Paul D. Shinkman (@PDShinkman) January 24, 2018
United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is used to seeing displays of strength and maneuvers from military men. What he’s not used to seeing? Grown men bite the heads off of live snakes. But, while visiting the headquarters of the armed forces of Indonesia, that’s exactly what he saw.
During a tour of the Pacific rim, Mattis and his entourage stopped by the military base outside of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to meet with the Indonesian chief of defense. Before their meeting, the chief had organized a demonstration for Mattis so he could get a glimpse of the training methods of the Indonesian special operations forces.
The soldiers demonstrated the usual maneuvers, such as nunchuck skills and hand-to-hand combat, but also some more unusual tactics like climbing a ladder of swords barefoot and smashing stacks of fiery bricks with their heads.
One display, however, was arguably the most shocking of all; soldiers ripping the heads off of live snakes, and drinking their blood.
To the tune of battle drums, a line of soldiers knelt on the ground, each of them holding a live, writhing snake, some of them cobras. At the command of their commanding officer, the soldiers bite into the snakes, ripping them apart.
Then, as the snake is still wriggling, the soldiers hold the bleeding bodies above their mouths, drinking the blood. Once done, they turn to their fellow soldiers, squirting the blood of the snakes into each other’s mouths.
“Eating the snakes. Whoa,” Mattis reportedly said as he was getting on his plane after the demonstration. “You can imagine how much training went into each individual there that they were able to do that. When you watch a force do that many small things perfectly, you can imagine that they can also put the bigger issues together.”