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Exclusive Ripley’s Believe It or Not! preview: Texas snakeman takes bath with 16 diamondback rattlers

Fancy a bath with 15 of my friends? Texas snakeman Mr. Bibby does. Pic credit: Travel Channel

On Sunday’s edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Jackie Bibby (aka The Texas Snakeman) is about to get into a bathtub filled with Western Diamondback rattlesnakes.

This jaw-dropper episode of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! starring Bruce Campbell introduces us to this unflappable Texan daredevil.

Mr. Bibby will sit on display in a clear bathtub as his handlers lift and place live rattlesnakes into it. They do it barehanded and also risk being bitten.

Adding to this, Mr. Bibby must have his legs taped together to keep them ol’ knees (he actually only has ONE knee, read on) from knocking, which would entice the snakes to bite him.

“No one said this was a good idea,” quips a deadpanning Campbell in the intro.

Read our exclusive interview with Bruce Campbell here!

The Western diamondback rattlesnake

One of the most aggressive snakes in North America, the Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) it a pit viper and has a triangular shaped head and has dark diamond-shaped patterns on its back. The tail sports black and white bands just above the rattles.

The snake has a heat-sensing pit located behind each nostril that can detect temperature and if they are circling in on predator from prey.

They are found on hiking trails as well as in deserts, plains, forests, rocky hillsides and even coastal bluffs. This fierce viper lives in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and the northern half of Mexico.

They can live up to 15-20 years in captivity and grow 3 to 5 feet or longer. They are notorious jerks in the reptilian world and have venom that will kill you if you wait too long to get to the hospital.

Jackie Bibby

This guy is a danger seeker of the highest order.

When he is not bathing in venomous snakes, this five-time Guinness World record holder stars in Rattlesnake Round-ups around the USA and has also taken his slithering act to Europe several times a year.

He has also appeared on Animal Planet in a special called Rattlesnake Republic.

Of note, Jackie also lists arm wrestling, skiing, and drug counseling in his skills section, among snake handling and other talents.

But don’t think this guy has sailed through all this snake business — he actually lost a leg thanks to one of the snakes he was charming!

On his bio page on his website it says:

“He’s been bitten eleven times, many of them serious enough to land him in the hospital. He was bitten on his leg above his boot by a huge, six-foot rattlesnake at a private show at a hotel in Addison, Texas. The bit was very serious and he was rushed immediately to a hospital. Three days later, they had to amputate his leg… Even though he has had a few brushes with death, he still considers himself extremely lucky to be able to continue doing what he loves.”

Tune in to see how Bibby fares as we see his helpers add and subtract these deadly vipers.

Also, check it out and what other oddities of human endurance and daring feats await as Bruce Campbell steers us through the impossible world of Ripley’s for Travel Channel.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! airs on Sunday, June 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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