A North Carolina jogger was nearly tripped up recently when she encountered a writhing ball of snakes along her path. And while it was a pretty startling encounter, the jogger was apparently interrupting them, since they were just trying to mate.

The jogger, Christine Proffitt, said that she was, not unreasonably, terrified. But a snake expert later put some fears to rest, telling NBC Charlotte that the bundle of snakes was not only normal, but also harmless. The snakes, the expert said, were common water snakes, which had just come out of winter hibernation, and were looking to procreate, meaning they were likely more focused on mating than they attacking.  

Snake sex probably isn’t something you think about often, but once you see a snake ball, it is pretty unforgettable.