Random Facts: Snakes

The decapitated head of a dead snake can still bite, even hours after death. These types of bites usually contain huge amounts of venom.

Snakes live on everywhere on Earth except Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, and the North and South Poles.

Of the approximately 725 species of venomous snakes worldwide, 250 can kill a human with one bite.

The fear of snakes (ophiophobia or herpetophobia) is one of the most common phobias worldwide. Approximately 1/3 of all adult humans are ophidiophobic, which suggests that humans have an innate, evolutionary fear of snakes.

The top 5 most venomous snakes in the world are the inland taipan, the eastern brown snake, the coastal taipan, the tiger snake, and the black tiger snake.

The warmer a snake’s body, the more quickly it can digest its prey. Typically, it takes 3–5 days for a snake to digest its meal. For very large snakes, such as the anaconda, digestion can take weeks.

The Brahminy Blind Snake, or flowerpot snake, is the only snake species made up of solely females and, as such, does not need a mate to reproduce. It is also the most widespread terrestrial snake in the world.

Some snakes have been known to explode after eating a large meal. For example, a 13-foot python blew up after it tried to eat a 6-foot alligator. The python was found with the alligator’s tail protruding from its midsection. Its head was missing.

There are five recognized species of flying snakes. Growing up to 4 feet, some types can glide up to 330 feet through the air.

The word “snake” is from the Proto-Indo-European root *sneg-, meaning “to crawl, creeping thing.” The word “serpent” is from the Proto-Indo-European root *serp-, meaning “to crawl, creep.”