Shadow Snakes, A Mysterious And Delightful Eclipse Sighting In East Nashville | Nashville Public Radio

Shadow Snakes, A Mysterious And Delightful Eclipse Sighting In East Nashville

Aug 21, 2017

In East Nashville's James Cayce Homes, resident Tori Winston, 28, adjusted the eclipse glasses on her young nephew. "Look straight at the sun," she said. "You see that little bitty spot on the sun? That's the eclipse."

The impromptu viewing party had just begun and every step of the way, kids were slack-jawed at what they were seeing in the sky.

Especially 10-year-old Karion Winston.

"I see a sun. It looks like Pac-Man now," Karion said, gazing through his eclipse glasses. "It's getting darker," he added, observing the dimming daylight. 

But for his friend, 10-year-old Deviontay Webster, today was all about one thing: "I am just ready to see the shadow snakes," Deviontay said.

He'd learned about them in school: mysterious bands of shadow that race across the ground seconds before and after the total eclipse. Even scientists don’t exactly know what they are.

The two boys looked on as the courtyard got very dark. Then, thin blades of shadow started dancing across the dirt.

"The shadow snakes!" Deviontay exclaimed. 

"It looks amazing," Karion said. "It looks like water."

This was what Deviontay had been waiting for all day.

"Dad, you saw the shadow snakes that I was talking about?" Deviontay said to his dad, who was standing nearby. 

Yes, he had — and it had rendered him speechless.