Snakes are one of mankind’s primordial fears. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years, we have been haunted by the images of the slimy skins, the dark and passionless eyes, the impaling and venomous fangs and the inherent maliciousness believed to exist. It’s safe to say that snakes are not recognized as man’s friends, and probably never will be. But how much of the rich and detailed mythology, the suggestive urban legends, and the spooky horror stories, are actually based in truth? How many of them are anecdotal hyperbole, just constructed to further the amplify the aura around the serpentine creatures? This article will reveal some the veracity of some of these myths, and there may be some surprises in store.
Before we delve into the big, terrifying urban legends, it’d be remiss if we didn’t dispel the misinformed ideas that have been sweeping the minds of mankind for years.
Snakes are not slimy. Though they may not look it, the skin of a snake is actually pretty dry, scaly. Yes, yes, we know. This may be the first time you heard this, but it’s true. So, get the “slimy snake” picture out of your head. It’s not too late.
Not all snakes are venomous. Sure, many die from snake bites a year (a staggering 100,00), but not all snakes are carry venom in their fangs. Really, about 10% of snakes are venomous, the other 90% are not. Although, if you are totally unfamiliar with a snake, and you see it in the street or in the wild, it’s best to avoid it. Just a simple precaution.
Not all snakes travel at ten mph. No, not every snake is a speed demon. In fact, very few travel faster than 5-6 mph. So, yes, you can outrun most snakes, if need be.
Okay, now that those general ill-informed ideas about snakes are over with, it’s time to dive into the real, meaty information— the factoids that everyone are craving to know. Hold onto your hats. It’s going to be a wild ride
The Hoop Snake
By far, this is one of the most unintentionally comical urban legends that have been created. So, let’s get it out of the way: No, the hoop snake myth is not real.
The idea is that a snake is on a hill. It encounters human. The human, in fear, flees down the hill. The snake, as if it was emulating a cartoon device, forms into a “hoop” and chases the human down the hill. Well, maybe in some strange, alternate universe snakes have this spectacular capability but, alas, they do not.
Snakes are Master Hypnotists
Yes, fear the hypnotic powers of the almighty serpents! Actually, no. You shouldn’t. Snakes, in spite of our geeked-out, teenage-like fascination, are not hypnotists. If you look a snake in the high, you will retain your mind. So, if you thought that snakes were devising an overarching plot for world domination with its masterful, hypnotic superpowers, we are sorry to disappoint you. It won’t happen in this lifetime.
The Shatter Snake
Belonging to the breed of urban legends that involve otherworldly resurrections, is the shatter snake myth. Generally, it goes like this: a farmer kills a snake with a plow, and the snake looks like it is “shattered” to pieces. He leaves the farm to take care of an error, and when he returns, the snake has mysteriously disappeared. Not giving it too much thought, the farmer drifts to sleep, and when he awakens and goes outside, he sees the exact same snake. As we are sure that there are many weird conspiracies as to why the farmer is seeing the same snake again, we have to diffuse this myth. That snake was probably not the only one of its kind in the vicinity. The same type of snake came to the farm around the same time that the dead snake there. Nothing otherworldly there, we are afraid.
Snakes are fascinating creatures, and, for humans, fear and anxieties are not necessary. Just take the time and research before you presume something to be true. Who knows, you may become a snake owner one day.