Long before the creation of games like Pokemon Go! and Angry Birds, early mobile-phone users spent their spare time engrossed in a simpler (but equally addictive) pastime: "Snake". Preinstalled on many Nokia devices in the late 90s, the game garnered something of a cult following with its elementary graphics and simple gameplay. The blocky line that players controlled in the game hardly resembled the movements of an actual snake, though. Unless, of course, we're talking about this wall-climbing serpent: 

Filmed by a homeowner in Keenesaw, Georgia, this large rat snake slithered across a patio before setting off on a wall-scaling quest (and filling us all with a comforting surge of nostalgia in the process). Rat snakes – members of the genus Pantherophis – are constrictors found throughout much of eastern North America. They are accomplished climbers and tend to stick to wooded areas where they can show off their arboreal habits.

Rat snakes climb in search of places to rest and bask, says wildlife ecologist Dr David Steen. They may also slither up a tree to gain access to birds' nests if they are on the lookout for a meal. In this case, the snake may have been searching for a lofty escape route.

"Climbing a brick wall, with all of its nooks and crannies, is not particularly more challenging than climbing the bark of a tree trunk," Steen explains. The snake sticks to the cement between the bricks as these grooves provide a bit of extra traction.

Without claws – or indeed limbs – to help them climb, snakes must rely on muscular force. If trying to slither up a smooth surface, rat snakes (and many other species) will anchor certain portions of their bodies while pulling or pushing other sections to move forward – a form of movement dubbed "concertina locomotion". If there are ridges or grooves – in this case the spaces between the bricks – they'll likely use those for leverage. 

The recent climber is not the only example of how snakes navigate brick walls. This rat snake in Florida was spotted doing the same thing back in 2009.

Top header image: ShowPaul, Flickr