U.S. and Thai Marines washed down scorpions and spiders with snake blood during a jungle survival drill Monday.
During the annual Cobra Gold exercises, one of the largest joint military drills in the region, several dozen Marines took turns drinking the blood of severed cobras, according to AFP.
At a Thai naval base in Chonburi province, a Thai military instructor showed visiting troops how to survive in the unforgiving jungle. He taught them how to find food and water, drain the venom from scorpions and tarantulas, and drink snake blood to acquire vital nutrients to survive a truly desperate situation.
“Definitely my first time drinking snake blood… It’s not something we do too often in America,” U.S. Sgt. Christopher Fiffie said after the training exercise.
“Fishy. Tastes like fish. It’s interesting,” one Marine said about the taste of snake blood. The Marines also grilled up various reptiles, including geckos.
The U.S. sent 6,800 troops to Thailand for the ten-day Cobra Cold exercise, which is being attended by a total of 11,075 personnel from 29 countries, according to Reuters.
“This exercise is the largest multilateral exercise in the Indo-Pacific region. It speaks to the commitment of the U.S. in the region,” Steve Castonguay, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, told reporters.
Relations between the U.S. and Thailand soured after a 2014 military coup, but bilateral relations have been steadily improving between Bangkok and Washington since President Donald Trump took office. The same can be said for Indonesia, where Secretary of Defense Mattis watched local special forces drink cobra blood last month.
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