JACKSON, MS (WMC-TV) - In the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a small group of men squirm through murky waters. They're not swimming. Instead, they're hunting snakes.
It can all be seen in a video the men posted on YouTube. Since the video first appeared online on October 29th, it has already been viewed more than 70,000 times.
The video was posted by Jimmie Nichols and Shane Gibson.
"We had no idea this was going to happen," Gibson said.
The pair both, along with some longtime friends, hunt for the snakes each June near Lake Washington. On a trip 12 years ago, Nichols pulled a snake from the water to prove to his friends they weren't frightening. Since then, it's snowballed.
"That's all we do now," Gibson said. "Instead of going up there to go fishing, now we go up there and catch snakes."
They don't use guns or knives - just bare hands and courage. The practice sometimes looks unbelievable, and is definitely dangerous.
"You need to know, first of all, what you're grabbing, and how to identify them," Nichols said.
"We don't recommend it, period," Gibson added.
"Because there are snakes in the water that'll hurt you if you fool with them," Nichols said.
The group is full of lifelong outdoorsmen, who Nichols says knows which snakes are dangerous. Gibson rolls video on all of it each year, then making DVD's of the adventure for members of the group. This year, however, his DVD equipment was broken, so he posted the video on YouTube to share it with his friends.
Now, the group is planning a new business venture.
"Just a fun day on the lake," Nichols said.
It was fun day on the lake that turned into an internet sensation for a group of snake hunters slithering through the Mississippi Delta.