Sightings of hoop snakes have been reported since colonial times in North America and for at least the past century in Australia. This snake grasps its tail in its mouth and rolls after its prey, thereby achieving great speed, especially when going downhill. Hoop snakes have been clocked going over 60 m.p.h. At the tip of its tail is a highly venomous stinger, making this a creature to be avoided at all costs. It is the only species of snake known to have a stinger on its tail, and this stinger is so poisonous that even if it strikes a tree, the tree will instantly wither, turn black, and die.
If you should encounter a hoop snake in the wild, the best defense is to run as fast as you can and hope to find a fence to leap over. The hoop snake will have to uncoil to get through the fence, thereby slowing it down. Some have reported that diving through the hoop of the snake will cause it to run away. This, however, has never been verified.