LearSnake. rickzimmerman 2010
LearSnake. rickzimmerman 2010

Prior to the mid-1970s, herpetologists were aware of but one flying snake — actually a gliding snake, Chrysopelea. That Southeast Asian serpent has the ability to glide from tree branches to the ground by sucking in its stomach to alter its body cross-section, thereby gaining lift.

The snake we see here, though, is a true flyer. By cross-breeding the Chrysopelea with an organic polymer variant of his Learjet L540 prototype (minus any landing gear), aeronautics pioneer Bill Lear was able to develop the LearSnake, a squamate with supersonic speed.

The LearSnake holds great potential for the military. As it is cold-blooded, it does not show up on any conventional thermal imaging, meaning it can’t be shot down by heat-seeking missiles. Its small cross-section and limbless body make it virtually invisible to radar, and very difficult to spot visually. Through genetic engineering, the LearSnake can be given the venom of the Australian inland taipan or the Russell’s viper of Southeast Asia, making it the perfect high-flying secret assassination asp.

Others, however, see more socially-beneficial uses for the LearSnake. Pollution and energy use can both be greatly diminished as LearSnakes replace conventional aircraft, since the serpents are fueled by small rodents and emit only flatulence and biodegradable excrement. Cross-breeding with anacondas yield a much fatter LearSnake, which, while not yet large enough to enclose passengers, is large enough in body diameter for passengers to comfortably straddle.   

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