London, Mar 14 (ANI): A beauty pageant in Texas is unusual by all means. It's probably the only contest in the world that requires the winner to decapitate and skin a rattlesnake, reports the Daily Mail.
The Miss Snake Charmer pageant held last week marked the start of the 53rd Rattlesnake Roundup, in Sweetwater.
Tens of thousands flocked to see the deadly Western Diamondback rattlesnakes being weighed, milked and then decapitated and skinned.
Their meat is then fried up for a tasty snack while their skin is used for boots and wallets.
The venom collected from the milking sessions is used for research and to make anti-venom.
Many see the treatment of the reptiles, which are hunted and rounded up especially for the event, as barbaric, but Donnie Willman, a volunteer with the Sweetwater Jaycees who run the event, said it was a form of pest control.
Those with a strong stomach can also try their hand at snake skinning for a fee of 10 dollars. One runner up in the pageant did just that before rubbing her delicately manicured hands in the snake blood and leaving handprints on the wall as a record.
It may seem like something out of a horror film but no one seemed to mind, including Miss Snake Charmer 2011 Laney Wallace, who showed up for her ceremonial chopping the day after being crowned.
Still wearing her tiara and winner's sash albeit underneath a protective boiler suit, she raised a giant machete aloft before bringing it down on her unwilling victim's head.
A few swipes later and the head is cut off. A gory sight for many but Wallace seemed to relish her moment.
She picked up the snake's limp body with one hand while giving a rather regal wave with the other as the flash of cameras lit up the room.
"I would never have imagined in a million years that I would be Miss Snake Charmer. I'm so lucky," she told the CNN before adding: "Only in Sweetwater."