Every year, the United States team with its Pacific allies for a military exercise in Thailand, Cobra Gold. Cobra Gold is the largest multinational military exercise in which the U.S. participates and has been an ongoing exercise for more than 30 years. Cobra Gold included 26 nations, and for the first time, included China. The exercise smooths interoperability between nations in the region, especially when coordinating responses to a crisis, like Tsunamis and Typhoons.

One of the highlights of each year’s event is when members of the Thai military demonstrate ways to subdue a cobra. They also demonstrate ways to find food and water in the jungle.

The operation consists of a live fire exercise, a command post exercise, and (as with many military exercises) an operation to benefit the local population. There is also a jungle survival Training exercise where Thai Marines train U.S. troops to find water, which foods are safe to eat (scorpions!), and famously, demonstrate how they subdue a Cobra.

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After the training is completed, all the soldiers are given the option to participate in the Thai tradition of drinking cobra blood. Drinking cobra blood is one way to stay hydrated in the jungle. It is also filled with nutrients.

As if drinking cobra blood isn’t crazy enough, the course also teaches the students the “correct” way to eat scorpions.

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If you thought Halloween was spooky, maybe you should join the Marines and attend Cobra Gold. You might get a chance to drink some snake blood for yourself.

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