Waffle the baby snake will make your life better in this viral video

Having a bad day? Watch this video of a Kenyan sand boa who loves his sandbox. Even if you don't like snakes, it will make you happy.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Slept through your alarm, boss is a jerk, car making that funny noise again? If you've got just 39 seconds, this video that's gone viral might make you feel better.

Waffle is a baby Kenyan sand boa, a breed of snake that enjoys hiding out in shallow burrows. So when offered a dollhouse-size version of the classic Little Tikes turtle sandbox, it's only natural that he slithered instantly under the sand in a mesmerizing little glide. But watch all the way till the end, when Waffle and his cute lil' tongue make a triumphant final appearance.

Waffle belongs to Jenny Gaines, a park naturalist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at Skidaway Island State Park. She also runs a business "Waffle and Friends," aimed at educating people about reptiles.

"I named him Waffle because I felt that giving cute and silly names to animals that so many people fear would help open their minds to learning more about snakes and accepting them," Gaines said.

Waffle is just a few months old, and Gaines is thrilled his video has gone viral, attracting millions of views in less than a week.

"The whole reason I got him (and the others) in the first place was to do more public outreach about snakes than I was already doing at work as a park naturalist," she said. "Snakes are one of the most misunderstood and mistreated groups of animals in the entire world. My goal is to help change that perception, one person at a time."

Gaines books educational live reptile shows for birthday parties, schools, libraries and other groups, and shares images of what she calls her "reptile ambassadors" online, including Waffle, Violet the Colombian rainbow boa and Cupcake the Russian tortoise.

"Waffle is the namesake of my reptile show business, because I thought people would be very receptive to him due to his cute face -- and how true that turned out to be," she said.

Waffle's doll-sized sandbox was a gift from a friend who found it on eBay. "I knew (Waffle) would like to dig in his sandbox because sand boas spend much of their time hidden in the ground," Gaines said. "When he hides, he likes to keep his eyes just above ground, like an alligator does in the water."

Waffle's slithery sandbox video has earned 10 million views in less than a week. Gaines has since followed up with a video where he pops up wearing a tiny little sand hat, and one where she gently gives Waffle a little bop on the nose. Whatever you normally think of snakes, it's a better world with Waffle in it.