Almost everyone hates snakes. In fact there are three types of people. The first are people that like snakes. Maybe 1% of the world’s population fits into this category. They pick snakes up, play with snakes, sometimes they even buy a snake as a pet. These people are almost always creepy. Their floor is being a huge fan of The Insane Clown Posse, their ceiling is being a serial killer. Next up are people who do not like snakes. This is about 94% of the world’s population. I am one of these people. It is not that I am terrified of them; it is simply that they are, kind of gross, slithery, and some of them will kill you.
Then there is another 5% of the population. These people are insanely terrified of snakes. My girlfriend is one of these. You could make a fake snake out of a piece of paper and a string, point at it and scream the word “Snake!!!” and these people would run like crazy. These people would rather die, literally, then be alone in a room with a snake.
But with all that said what do we really know about snakes? Most of us don’t try to learn much about them, because they are so darn nasty, and the other people who do know a lot about them we don’t listen to very much, because they are Insane Clown Posse serial killer types. Let’s fix that right now. Here are 15 things you never wanted to know about snakes.
15. Snakes Do Kill People, All The Time
So this is the part of the article where I am supposed to write something about how rare of an occurrence it is for snakes to kill people. Well guess what, no way- they kill people all the time. Especially in India, where the so called “Big Four” live. The big four are the Russell’s viper, the Indian cobra, the Saw-Scaled viper, and the Common krait. People estimate that over 80,000 people are bitten and 11,000 people die in India a year from this group of snakes combined. Seriously? The big four are BAMFs, no doubt. This is the highest rate of snake bites and deaths in the world, so don’t worry, if you are reading this on your back deck in Vermont, a Saw-Scaled viper is probably not going to roll up and bite you. Well, maybe, nothing is for sure in this life.
14. Where Are There No Snakes?
So I am sure that right about now you are thinking “So hey, Leon, where can I go where no snakes will bite me and kill me?” Hey listen, not all snakes want to bite you and kill you, some of them want to eat you as well, but that is another story for another time. The main places you are sure to be safe are the Arctic Circle and Antarctica. But they also do not live in Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand. The other thing to check out is where dangerous snakes actually live, as some states and countries are absolutely full of snakes, but none of them are poisonous. You just imagine them killing you, but they aren’t actually going to do it. There is one other place that you can avoid snakes… you could always stay inside. Forever.
13. Wessie, The Beloved Snake Of Maine
One of the places where there are no poisonous snakes is the fine state of Maine. But who needs poisonous snakes when there is a loose snake rolling around that is as big as a truck? The snake is known as Wessie, which is a take on the Loch Ness Monster (“Nessie”). People say the snake is “as long as a truck and the head the size of a soccer ball.” Oh yeah, and it’s also loose and hanging out near a park where kids play. According to this: “Almost a week later, a police officer on patrol in the park area saw the snake feasting on a large mammal—probably a beaver—on the riverbank.” Hey, so a snake the length of a truck is rolling around town eating beavers near a playground. I imagine ice cream truck sales are down in that area.
12. Don’t Mess With The Black Mamba
If you’ve ever watched the movie Kill Bill, they talk up the black mamba as the most dangerous snake out there. I am sure Kobe Bryant would not disagree, since that is his nickname. A lot of people tend to agree; most experts say that the Black Mamba is the most dangerous snake in the world. While they don’t have the most venom of all snakes, they have more than enough to do the trick. They are also super fast and have a very strong defensive stance. Most importantly they are very territorial, which means you are never going to see it coming. A black mamba will hit you with numerous bites quickly, all while just striking once. So if you were paying attention, tell me again which countries don’t have any snakes?
11. Snakes Do Not Have Eyelids
All right, so this does not mean a whole lot as far as how horrible snakes are, or what they might do to you. A snake not having eyelids does not mean it is going to kill you, or that it is especially horrible and mean. It does mean one very real thing though. It means the snake DOES NOT HAVE EYELIDS! That is just almost too much to deal with. What they have instead are transparent scales that cover their eyelids and molt off just like the scales on the rest of their body. The scale that covers their eyes is called brille because I suppose it has to be called something so people don’t just say “that creepy scale that a snake has instead of an eyelid.” Do we really have to look in a snake’s eyes anyway?
10. Lebanese Commandos Eat Snakes To Show How Tough They Are
Remember when you thought you were tough? You know, right before you read this list about snakes? Well, get ready to realize that there are a lot of people out there tougher than you. Check out this article: “During the live ceremony, which takes place every year, the Lebanese army commandos have to take a live snake and use their teeth to tear the animal apart. Dressed in full military fatigues and beret, the commandos hold the head and the tail in opposite hands and powerfully bite down into the squirming animal’s scaly flesh.”
Yeah, I mean I suppose that is pretty tough. I guess if you eat a live snake then you probably could do a whole lot of super-tough things on the field of combat. In fact, I am not going to make fun of these guys. They do eat live snakes after all.
9. Voldemort Gave Nagini Her Name for A Reason
If you saw any of the Harry Potter movies, you are well aware of Nagini, who was Voldemort’s snake until she was eventually killed by Neville Longbottom. But until then she and Voldemort were quite the pair. When I say Voldemort “owned her” that assumes anyone can actually own a snake, which is debatable. While saying the word Voldemort in the same sentence with Buddhism and Hinduism seems odd, that is the origin of Nagini’s name. In Buddhism and Hinduism, deities take on the form of extremely large King cobras called nāgas. Female nāgas are called “Nagini.” So actually, what seemed like kind of a cool name, was pretty run of the mill. Nagini? Come on Voldemort, you could have done better than that.
8. How Come Rattlesnakes Rattle?
The easiest answer to why rattlesnakes rattle their tail at you is because they are cool. The tail is made up of hollow keratin that vibrate when the snake gets ready to pounce, as it were. While this sounds like the snake is taunting you and punking you out, the reality is that the snake is really saying “Hey Homey, don’t you see me over here? I am a rattlesnake for crying out loud, now step on out of here before I come at you and mess you up!” Seriously, what would you rather have, a story about how you heard a rattlesnake and it scared the heck out of you, or would just rather be dead, not even knowing that you were about to be bitten before it happened? I thought so.
7. The Boomslang Is A Real Thing
The Boomslang is a snake that is used in much of popular culture. It is referenced both in Harry Potter and Team Fortress. in which it says “The Backstabber’s Boomslang is a teal-colored venomous snake that is curled around the Spy’s upper left arm and its head rests above his shoulder. The head moves up and down as the Spy does, and its eyes glow in the dark.”
I guess because it is such an amusing name that people take the name Boomslang and use it for their own purposes, but it is a very real snake; its name literally means “tree snake.” But hey, I doubt that a tree snake would be referenced in Harry Potter quite so much. When it comes to marketing, the name means everything, even when it comes to snakes.
6. The Titanoboa Was The Biggest Snake Ever
Those of you who are kind of, or totally freaked out by snakes, should probably not read this entry. Then again, if you are that freaked out by snakes, then you probably should not be reading this post at all. The Titanoboa is now extinct but word on the street is that they could be as long as 42′ and weighed as much as 2,500 pounds. I bet that doesn’t freak you out at all, right? The biggest snake around now is the Giant Anaconda. One of them was measured at 28′ long, and was estimated to weigh 500 pounds. They say “estimated” because obviously no one wanted to try and get a 28′ long snake on the scale. If you are wondering what a Giant Anaconda eats, the answer is, whatever it wants.
5. One Snake Is so Small It Could Fit On a Quarter
Alright, now we are talking. Enough of these snakes that are as big as small trucks and could swallow your entire family whole, or snakes that could bite you ten times before you could move. Let’s talk about snakes that we can beat up. The smallest snake out there is the Barbados threadsnake, which is found on Barbados. Just making sure that you are paying attention. They only get about 10 centimeters long and are so tiny that they don’t really even have teeth. They tend to feed on termites and ant larvae. So if this list is making you feel like a little bit less of a man, then book a flight down to Barbados. The weather is gorgeous, there are really nice beaches, and a lot of good looking women, and you can feel free to beat the hell out of as many threadsnakes as you want.
4. The Inland Taipan Snake Is The Most Venomous Snake In The World
Hey, enough about really huge snakes that could eat your whole town, or tiny snakes that can’t do much of anything. Let’s get back to snakes that can kill you pretty much instantly, shall we? The Inland Taipan snake is also known as the “Fierce snake.” If you are looking for them, and you should not be, you can find them in central Australia. Why should you not be looking for them? Well, they pack a lot of venom. How much you ask? Well, the amount of venom they carry in one single bite is enough to kill 100 humans. I am not that great at math, but I am pretty sure if it can kill 100 people with one bite it sure as heck could kill little old you.
3. Snakes Hearts Move Around In Their Bodies
A snake’s heart does not stay in one fixed place. They do not have a diaphragm so their heart moves around in the snake’s body. Why is this so, you might wonder? Is it just one of those things of nature that there is no real reason for? Oh no, there is a reason. The snake has the ability to move its heart around because if it is eating something the heart might get in the way. This way the snake can swallow something whole, without fearing any sort of digestive problem down the line. When it is eating some enormous animal, the heart just slides off to the side. See, aren’t you glad you read this article? You are learning so much.
2. The Snake’s Organs Are In A Line
I know this makes sense, of course, but still I will bet my old bottom dollar that it is probably something you have never thought about. Humans have a bunch of paired organs such as the kidneys, lungs, and gonads. That’s right, I said gonads, side by side. But because a snake is so much longer, their organs are laid out in a line, kind of front to back. This is one of the many ways that humans and snakes are different. Other ways are that we are way smarter than they are, and they can kill us super quick by biting us. Now that I think of it, they might win that one. Who needs to be smart when you can kill someone super quick by biting them?
1. Snakes Are Venomous, Not Poisonous
I know, I know, who really cares if they actually bite you? I can see you being bitten and yelling to your friend “Help, I have been bitten by a poisonous snake,” and your friend saying “Don’t you mean venomous?” Still, though, you might as well get it right. While it might seem the same, poison is inhaled or ingested whereas venom is injected. So poison is what your wife does to your drink when she wants your money, and venom is what vipers and cobras use to kill you. Hopefully you will never need to know the difference, and stay far away from poison as well as venom in the near future. And remember, snakes can’t hurt you if they can’t get close to you. So kids, whatever you do, don’t go outside ever again.