From the biblical stories that represent snakes as devils to the stories of man-eating serpents, it’s safe to say that the snake population has the worst PR ever. From their earliest years, children have an instinctive fear of snakes and it’s common to hear them complain of night terrors involving snakes.
What separates fact from fiction, though? Obviously, not all snakes are dangerous. They’re an important part of our natural ecosystem and they help to keep the rodent population in control. The majority of snakes in the world are non-venomous as well, which means that the chance of you coming into contact with a killer snake is fairly slim.
However, when humans and venomous snakes do mix, the result is rarely ever a fairy tale ending. Today we’re going to be taking a look at 5 crazy snake bite stories that are guaranteed to make you do a double-take.
#1 - Snake Salvation
Not to bash anybody’s personal faith, but there should be a limit to how much you decide to test it. At a small church in Jensen, Kentucky, pastors regularly use snakes in their worship service. This practice stems from the biblical stories of the relationship between snakes and the devil, but this is by no means a typical church service.
To prove that God can protect them from evil they regularly release venomous snakes, holding them by hand in front of their congregation. One day, Reverend John Brock’s luck ran out and he was he was bitten. Opposed to seeking salvation in a nearby hospital, he retired home for the day after his service was done. The next day, he still didn’t seek out antivenom and passed away at 60-years old.
The moral of the story; don’t ever get caught holding a venomous snake. The legendary Steve Irwin made a habit of it for years on his TV show, The Crocodile Hunter, but he was an expert who accepted the risk of his eventual death. Unless you’re prepared to get seriously injured or killed, leave the snake wrangling to the professionals.
#2 - Cobra Suicide
Texas resident Grant Thompson had a history of mental illness and depression. Texas is one of the few states in the US that allow residents to own venomous snakes as pets, and Grant’s job was to transport these ever dangerous snakes from the store to their new owner.
One day, a cobra ended up escaping from its container and biting Grant in the neck. At least that’s what it originally appeared to be. After further examination and autopsy, crime scene investigators suspect that this was Grant’s successful suicide attempt because there was no evidence that he tried to fight the snake or pull it away from him. There was a single bite wound, which implies that the snake bit him and stayed latched on.
Cobra venom can often take 30 minutes to kill a full-sized person, which means that he chose a pretty bad way to go as far as suicide attempts go. Moral of the story; don’t keep cobras in the back seat of your car.
#3 - Caught with His Pants Down
When nature calls, you often have no choice but to find the closest bathroom at your disposal. In the case of George Yancy, this happened to be the bathroom of a small gas station in Smithville, Texas (they’re starting to get a bad reputation here).
According to the autopsy report, Yancy was bitten on the hand by a deadly rattlesnake when he reached to pull his pants up. The snake had been curled up around the base of the toilet, and due to the low-light conditions, he didn’t see it until it was too late. Rattlesnake venom spreads through the bloodstream incredibly fast, and can kill within a couple of hours. Yancy didn’t get the help he needed in time, and unfortunately passed away.
Moral of the story; always look around your toilet. Snakes love to find cool, dark places where they can curl up and digest their food or wait for their next victim. Most public restrooms fit this definition perfectly, and if you live anywhere where venomous snakes are commonly found, then you should always double check your surroundings.
#4 - Worst Bowling Night Ever
This story occurs in Australia, a country well-known for their wide variety of venomous snakes, spiders, and just about any creature of death you can possibly imagine. Australia even has snails that can paralyze and kill a full-grown man. It’s also home to the brown snake, which happens to be one of the most venomous snakes in the world.
On a family bowling night, Janice Taylor felt a small prick on her leg shortly into a few rounds. She assumed a small bug or spider had bitten her and that she would be alright. Shortly thereafter, she collapsed and passed out, and was rushed to the emergency room. The doctors quickly discovered that she had been bitten not by a spider, but by a brown snake.
Thankfully, Janice was treated in time and survived to tell the tale. Moral of the story; always expect the unexpected and check out every bite or rash before its too late. Usually, you would never expect a snake to bite you in a bowling alley, but it can happen.
#5 - Climbing Cobras
Northern India is full of snakes. There is a plethora of vermin and small animals for them to feed on, but with the explosive population growth, interactions between humans and snakes are becoming more frequent with each passing year. When 50-year-old Arnav Vikram looked out in his yard and saw a giant king cobra crawling around, he immediately locked up all of the doors and windows on the lower level of his farmhouse.
A few hours later, he happened to be doing a bit of cleaning and organizing in the upper level of his home, and caught the snake just as it was trying to crawl through the window. Thankfully, he just barely avoided sustaining a lethal bite, and was able to run to safety.
Moral of the story; snakes can climb. Never put anything past them. If you live in a snake-infested area, you should avoid keeping windows and doors open, even if they’re on the upper level.
One of man’s greatest failures is his illusion of control. When it comes to mother nature and her venomous creatures, there is very little control that you will have over any situation. Always expect the unexpected and never assume that you’re completely safe.
While you can protect yourself in the outdoors with a good pair of snake boots, the only thing that can protect you when you least expect it is your situational awareness.