12 Mind-Blowing Snake Facts
Snakes are probably some of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet. Most people are aware that snakes are part of the reptile family. This is true despite what their lack of feet might make you think.
To help people understand the creatures better, have more respect for them, and to simply stay out of danger, here are a couple of interesting snake facts:
A Wide Range of Sizes
The smallest snake in existence is known as the Barbados Threadsnake. The largest recorded specimen measured about 4.09 inches, about the length around an American quarter dollar.
When the snake is at its largest, the offspring measure one-tenth the length of their parent, whereas the smaller specimens will produce offspring about half their size.
The Reticulated Python can be described as a true “monstrosity” when it comes to the sheer possible size. An entire species native to both South and Southeast Asia, it is considered the longest in the entire animal kingdom.
Colossus, a reticulated python held at the Highland Park Zoo in the 1950s and 1960s, measured out to a whopping 22.8 feet and 138 pounds.
Fear and Respect The Serpent
It makes sense that if one never leaves the house, there is far less likely that you’ll be attacked by a snake. Even the most cautious of people, like Steve Irwin, could encounter an unexpected complication. Sharks are deadly animals yet their annual kill rate is typically single or very low double-digit numbers.
Compare that to the variety of snakes on Earth, killing an estimated 100,000 people per year through either strangulation or poisoning.
Are You Scared?
If you have a genuine phobia of snakes, you are not alone. Ophiophobia or herpetophobia, as the fear is officially called, is actually one of the most common in the world. About 1/3 of individuals 18 and older can’t stand the idea of even being near a snake. This may suggest the ‘fear’ evolved as we did.
Do Not Enter
Brazil contains most of the Amazon rainforest, which acts as the lungs of planet earth. Forests are plentiful with a variety of serpents and this South American country is no different.
An island off the coast of Brazil has been declared a hazard zone by the Brazilian government because it is so infested with snakes. There are 5 snakes every ten feet!
Two Heads Aren’t Always Better
Many animals in the wild may or may not be born with two heads. With snakes, the odd deformity seems to occur more often. While the two heads of a snake may share organs and the partial equivalent of a throat, the heads will still fight each other like individuals.
Another Reason Not to Go Down Under
The continental country of Australia is known for its often harsh weather and the deadly animals that populate it. If you have ever wondered where the ten deadliest snakes exist, they live all over Australia.
Snakes “Aren’t as Deadly as Bees”
Statistically, we know that 100,000 people each year have fatal encounters with the legless reptiles. But even more astounding is that the bees, in general, kill far more each year than snakes do in the same period.
The Stuff of Nightmares
Pythons and Anacondas may be large, but they likely don’t contain the same deadly venom as the boomslang snake. The venom it secretes from its fangs is so deadly, you’ll bleed from every orifice on your body.
That’s a Big Mouth
Crocodiles and alligators can open their mouth farther than most creatures, but many snakes evolved with special hinges in their jaw. These hinges allow them to open their mouth as wide as 150 degrees.
Don’t Go in the Water
If Australia’s got so many snakes, it should stand to reason that New Zealand would have some snakes because of their proximity. Oddly enough, the only snakes that kiwis encounter are snakes that live almost exclusively in the ocean.
The Black Mamba
The Black Mamba isn’t just one of the deadliest snakes in the world, but one of the deadliest animals anywhere in the world. When you’re bitten by one of these, you are almost guaranteed to die.
The stomachs of snakes have high concentrations of acids that when given Alka-Seltzer, will make the reptile’s insides explode.