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9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

On Feb. 12, 2019, the US and Thailand launched Cobra Gold, one of the largest multi-national exercises in the world.

The annual exercise brings together 29 nations as participants or observers; nine participating countries include the US and Thailand as well as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, and South Korea, according to a US Army release.

The exercise, which will end on Feb. 22, 2019, includes a field training exercise, humanitarian and disaster relief components.

One of the most anticipated aspects of the exercise is jungle survival training, when Royal Thai Marines teach their US counterparts how to identify edible foods, including plants and animals.

During the training, US troops have the opportunity to eat scorpions and geckos, and drink snake blood — all skills necessary to survive if one becomes isolated from their unit.


9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

U.S. Marines drink the blood of a king cobra during jungle survival training as part of Cobra Gold 19 at Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kenny Nunez)

1. These Marines aren’t drinking snake blood just for show.

Jungle training teaches essential skills for survival in a wild, tropical environment.

Marines learn skills from identifying poisonous plants, differentiating between venomous and non-venomous snakes, and finding water sources if they get lost.

One of the instructors interviewed by Marine Staff Sgt. Matthew Bragg said that drinking animal blood is one way to stay hydrated in the absence of another water source.

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

US Marines cheer on comrades during the highly anticipated jungle survival training during exercise Cobra Gold.

(US Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

A Royal Thai Marine instructor shows US Marines different types of snakes during jungle survival training.

(US Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

U.S. Marines watch as Royal Thai Marine instructor shows off a snake during Cobra Gold 19.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

Royal Thai Marine Corps instructor passes around freshly cooked meat during Cobra Gold 19.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

A US Marine eats a scorpion in jungle survivor training during Cobra Gold 19.

(US Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Austin Gassaway eats a plant during jungle survival training as part of Cobra Gold 19.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kenny Nunez)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

Royal Thai Marine shows US Marines what to eat in the jungle during the exercise.

(US Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9 epic photos of Marines drinking snake blood and eating scorpions

Royal Thai and U.S. Marines learn how to make fire in the jungle during Cobra Gold 19.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mary Calkin)

9. Marines also learn skills like building fires and alternate ways to stay hydrated.

“I didn’t know that ants are a trace of water. Wherever they’re filing to, they know where the location of water is,” said US Army Spc. Louis Smith.

Smith said that new knowledge is something he’d take back home with him.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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