Finding a brightly-colored snake sitting along a busy road or outside a business would be startling for most people.

That doesn't seem to be the case, however, in Peoria. The city has been overrun with large snakes of mysterious origins.

What Is A Tire Snake?

It's likely not the breed scientific name, but the species that started popping up around Peoria last fall is known as the "tire snake."

And while it might not be a living, breathing reptile, the tire snake has been making its way across the city.

"Mystery artist is leaving giant tire art snakes randomly around Peoria... Found one here this morning," Relics, a local gift shop, shared on social media. The popularity of the post led to reports of additional snake sightings around the city.

The Peoria Journal Star described the tire snake as consisting of four painted tires.

"Three of the tires lie horizontally and represent the serpent's body," the newspaper reported. "The fourth tire has been cut into two halves placed vertically to serve as the snake's head – complete with painted eyes – and tail."

The tires are decorated with colorful patterns that are much like what you'd see on a snake. By November, snakes started sporting "Santa scarves" for the holidays.

Where Did Peoria's Tire Snakes Come From?

By the time the tire snakes had surfaced outside at least four different Peoria businesses, local TV station WMBD was already searching for answers.

Reporters reached out to several businesses where the snakes had arrived overnight in their parking lots. Not one location was able to identify the origin of the snakes.

WMBD chalked the rubber sculpture up to being the work of a "local mystery artist."

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A Reddit conversation about the snake's origin story on the r/PeoriaIL subreddit didn't yield any answers either. That being said, it does seem like the snakes have been well-received.

"I like it! It Adds some color to the area and art," one Reddit commenter said.

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