Ophidiophobia is the irrational fear of snakes. Someone suffering from this condition can expect to experience a very high amount of anxiety from merely thinking of snakes, let alone actually seeing them in real life. In fact, their anxiety may be so intense that they may even endure a full blown panic attack as a result of it. Although such an influx of anxiety will not always be the case for everyone suffering from ophidiophobia, it is still very plausible to occur nonetheless.
Someone experiencing a full blown panic attack as a result of their ophidiophobia can expect to have an increased heart rate, an increased rate of breathing, higher blood pressure, muscle tension, trembling, and excessive sweating, among several other symptoms. Although panic attacks may not always be the case for everyone experiencing symptoms of ophidiophobia, it is still possible to occur, especially if their symptoms are very severe.
Someone suffering from ophidiophobia may find themselves avoiding that which they fear. They may take this to the extreme by ensuring that they cannot be exposed to snakes in any way. For example, someone with this condition may refuse to go outside due to their fear of possibly seeing or coming into contact with a snake. Such excessive worry and irrational thinking is likely to be one of the main causes of their mental anguish.
Although someone with this condition may actively avoid their fear in an attempt to help them reduce their chances of experiencing any immediate anxiety, doing so may also worsen their symptoms of ophidiophobia in the long term due to the fact that they would also be justifying their fear to themselves by actively avoiding it.
Symptoms of Ophidiophobia
As is the case with virtually every other phobia that exists, someone with ophidiophobia can expect anxiety to be the most prominent symptom of their condition. Also, as previously mentioned, their anxiety may be so extreme that they may even endure full blown panic attacks as a result of it. Depending on the severity of their panic attack, they may even need to be hospitalized. However, this will vary from person to person and will be dependent on many factors.
Furthermore, someone with ophidiophobia may go to painstaking efforts to ensure that they do not come into contact with their fear in any way. This may mean them not only avoiding areas where they may come into contact with their fear, but also that they may actively try to prevent it from happening by taking a more hands-on approach.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of ophidiophobia:
Anxiety when thinking of snakes
Constantly avoiding snakes
Unable to cope with their anxiety
Muscle tension, shakiness, and sweating
May experience panic attacks
Causes of Ophidiophobia
There are no definitive causes of ophidiophobia. Nevertheless, genetics and one’s environment may both play very significant roles in the development of this condition. For example, if someone has a family history of mental illness, especially of anxiety disorders or specific phobias, then they may have a higher chance of developing ophidiophobia. This may be due to them then having a genetic predisposition to developing mental illness in general.
If someone were to have such genetics, then it may only require that they experience some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown ophidiophobia. Essentially, any sort of emotionally painful event that involved the various fears associated with ophidiophobia in some way may be enough for someone to develop this condition insofar as they have the proper genetics.
Although we do not know the exact causes of ophidiophobia, the consensus among most mental health professionals is that both genetics and environmental factors play very significant roles in the development of any given mental disorder. So, taking a closer look at these two different parameters may shed some light as to whether or not you may be at risk for developing ophidiophobia.
Ophidiophobia Treatments (abridged)
Just as there are no definitive causes of ophidiophobia, there are also no treatments that are specifically designed for this condition either. Nevertheless, there are still many different forms of treatment that can help to significantly improve many of the symptoms of ophidiophobia. Some of these treatments include exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and some psychiatric medications, among others.
Exposure therapy is one of the most common forms of treatment for people suffering from phobias. Exposure therapy works by having the therapist gradually expose the patient to their fear over a given period of time. With regards to ophidiophobia, the therapist may start off by exposing the patient to photos of snakes and then eventually expose them to videos of snakes, among other things. This would all be in an attempt to help desensitize the patient to their fear by repetitively exposing them to it. Theoretically, the more someone is exposed to something they fear, the less it will bother them over time.
CBT is another very common form of treatment that is often used to help people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), among other conditions. Moreover, it may also be effective at helping to treat people suffering from phobias like ophidiophobia as well. CBT works by having the therapist help the patient to uncover why it is that they think, feel, and behave the way they do with regards to a particular fear or concern they have.
Someone with ophidiophobia partaking in CBT can expect to learn why it is that they think the way they do about their fear, among other things. Understanding such things may help someone with ophidiophobia to take a more pragmatic approach when thinking about their fear of snakes.
If you think you may have ophidiophobia or if you are suffering from some of the symptoms that have been described in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. Upon seeing your doctor, you may then be referred to see a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist for further treatment.
Exposure Therapy for Ophidiophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as ophidiophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with ophidiophobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with ophidiophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their ophidiophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with ophidiophobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.
Working Out for Ophidiophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including ophidiophobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of ophidiophobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of ophidiophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with ophidiophobia over time.
Yoga Sessions for Ophidiophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from ophidiophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with ophidiophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with ophidiophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with ophidiophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of ophidiophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Ophidiophobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from ophidiophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with ophidiophobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of ophidiophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Psychiatric Medications for Ophidiophobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe ophidiophobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their ophidiophobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as ophidiophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of ophidiophobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of ophidiophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Ophidiophobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with ophidiophobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with ophidiophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with ophidiophobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with ophidiophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Ophidiophobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like ophidiophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with ophidiophobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with ophidiophobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with ophidiophobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your ophidiophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Meditation Practice for Ophidiophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from ophidiophobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimeous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from ophidiophobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with ophidiophobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of ophidiophobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with ophidiophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Control Caffeine Consumption for Ophidiophobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with ophidiophobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with ophidiophobia.
10 highly poisonous snakes to test your ophidiophobia
1.) Saw Scaled Viper ophidiophobia
Also called Carpet Vipers or Echis, this extremely venomous viper can be found in dry areas in Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India, among other areas. Their venom consists primarily of hemotoxins and cytotoxins and they can get as long as 3 feet. Although the patterns found on some of these vipers are often quite pleasant to look at, the mere thought of just how deadly this snake is may give those with ophidiophobia an influx of painstaking fear and dread. The saw scaled viper typically eats spiders, scorpions, toads, reptiles, and small mammals, among other things. When this viper feels threatened, you can expect it to make a “sizzling” sound with its body as a formal warning toward its foe.
2.) Coastal Taipan ophidiophobia
Also known as the Common Taipan, this highly venomous snake can be found in certain parts of Australia, among other areas. They are typically brown or dark brown in color. Due to the lethal toxicity of the coastal taipan’s bite, it may not be uncommon for some Australians to experience some of the symptoms of ophidiophobia described in this article by merely thinking of it. This snake typically gets to a length of just under 4 feet long. They have great eyesight and are known to eat bandicoots, birds, and rats, among other things.
3.) Coral Snake ophidiophobia
These very venomous snakes are known for the distinct stripes they have on their scales, which alternate from wide black and red stripes separated by thin yellow stripes. This snake has the potential to get up to a length of 5 feet. It can be sometimes quite challenging for the average person to know whether or not a snake is poisonous, especially if they do not have a sound understanding of the many different scale patterns to be on the lookout for. However, due to the uniqueness of the coral snake’s colored stripes, those with ophidiophobia may be all too aware of this poisonous snakes appearance.
4.) Cottonmouth ophidiophobia
Scientifically called Agkistrodon Piscivorus, the cottonmouth, aka the water moccasin, can be found in various areas in southeastern United States. The cottonmouth likes to show its fangs when it feels threatened in an attempt to intimidate its predator or its prey. They can get to a length of around 3 feet and typically eat catfish, frogs, turtles, and other snakes. Some people living in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida may experience some symptoms of ophidiophobia due to how common the cottonmouth is in these states.
5.) Rattlesnake ophidiophobia
There are several types of rattlesnakes that exist and they are all highly venomous. Rattlesnakes can be found in various different places in either North America or South America. These snakes typically consume small animals such as mice and birds. As one might expect, they do not use constriction to kill their prey. Instead, they use their deadly venom to do the bidding. Such a reality may be extremely difficult for someone with ophidiophobia to come to terms with. However, to some potential relief, rattlesnakes are sometimes preyed upon by racoons, roadrunners, kingsnakes, skunks, and coyotes, among other animals.
6.) King Cobra ophidiophobia
Also known as the hamadryad, it is the world’s longest venomous snake, reaching lengths of over 13 feet. The king cobra can be found in various parts of Asia, among other areas. In fact, this snake is so influential that it is the national reptile of India. Nevertheless, those living in the West may not withhold the same convictions as they may experience symptoms of ophidiophobia due to how deadly its bite is. When it is on the defense, it has been known to give off a very low pitched hissing sound which can often be described as a growl.
7.) Australian Brown Snake ophidiophobia
Also called the Common Brown Snake, this very dangerous snake can be found in various parts of eastern and central Australia, among other areas. They can get up to around 7 feet long and they typically eat mice, birds, eggs, lizards, and other snakes. The australian brown snake has been dubbed by many as one of the world’s most venomous terrestrial snakes in existence. This may be bad news for those living in Australia as some Australians may experience some of the painful symptoms of ophidiophobia, such as a racing heart rate, increased perspiration, shakiness, and lightheadedness, among other symptoms.
8.) Tiger Snake ophidiophobia
Scientifically called the Notechis Scutatus, this venomous snake can be commonly found in southern Australia. They can get to a length of just under 4 feet and are often found in creeks and in other wetlands. There are several different types of tiger snakes that exist, such as the common tiger snake, the western tiger snake, and the peninsula tiger snake, among others. Such a diverse array of different tiger snakes may make those living in southern Australia to experience some of the symptoms of ophidiophobia that have been described in this article.
9.) Death Adder ophidiophobia
Scientifically called the Acanthophis, the death adder can be found in various parts of Australia, among other places. These snakes typically get to a length of over 3 feet and can be found not actively hunting after their prey, but instead to be hidden away, quietly waiting to strike upon an unsuspecting target. With such an insidious way of attacking their prey, someone with ophidiophobia may be highly fearful of such a snake, especially when realizing that it would likely be unseen as it attempted to remain hidden.
10.) Black Mamba ophidiophobia
Scientifically called the Dendroaspis Polylepis, the black mamba is an extremely venomous snake that is commonly found in various parts of Africa, among other areas. They can move up to 10 miles per hour for short distances and they can get up to a length of around 10 feet, although longer ones have also been spotted. The inside of its mouth is black, which is the opposite of most snakes as they normally have white tissue inside of their mouths. The black mamba can be found on the ground or in trees. Such a reality may be extremely anxiety provoking for those suffering from ophidiophobia. In fact, the black mamba has been known to be one of the most, if not the most feared snake in all of Africa due to its aggressiveness and toxicity.
10 large snakes to test your fear of snakes
1.) Reticulated Python ophidiophobia
This python is the longest snake on Earth getting to a length of around 30 feet. They can also get up to well over 300 pounds. Such an enormous snake can easily induce a very high amount of anxiety within someone suffering from ophidiophobia. The reticulated python can be found in various parts of India and southern Asia. Some people living in these areas may very well be experiencing some symptoms of ophidiophobia.
2.) Green Anaconda ophidiophobia
The green anaconda is undoubtedly one of the largest snakes living on our planet. It has been purported to get up to a weight of around 500 pounds. Although, these may be anomalies as they will typically weigh around 215 pounds. They can get up to a length of close to 30 feet also. The green anaconda can be found in various countries in South America. With this being said, it may not be uncommon for someone living in this region to experience some of the symptoms of ophidiophobia that have been described in this article.
3.) Indian Python ophidiophobia
Just as the name implies, the indian python can be found throughout the country of India, among other areas. It has an attractive scale pattern with variances of brown, tan, and black. This snake can get up to a weight of 200 pounds and a length of around 20 feet. Indians living in virtually any part of India may be at risk for coming into contact with this giant python. Such a reality may give some people living in those areas some intense symptoms of ophidiophobia.
4.) Yellow Anaconda ophidiophobia
This large anaconda can get up a length of around 15 feet and can weigh over 120 pounds. The yellow anaconda is known for its distinct scale pattern of yellow and black. These insidious snakes can be commonly found in South America. People living in areas where yellow anacondas have been spotted may suffer from severe ophidiophobia as such anxiety can be overwhelming, to say the least. Someone with an irrational fear of snakes may in fact be so fearful of the yellow anaconda that they may move away from the continent altogether insofar as they were unable to effectively cope with their fear of snakes.
5.) Dark-spotted Anaconda ophidiophobia
This large snake can get up to a weight of close to 70 pounds and a length of up to 10 feet. The dark-spotted anaconda can be commonly found in parts of South America. Although it is not nearly as big as some of the other snakes on this list, it is still a very large snake nonetheless. People living in the specific areas where this snake also lives in may experience symptoms of ophidiophobia due to how dangerous this snake can be. In such a situation, someone with ophidiophobia may decide to move away in an attempt to reduce their risk of coming into contact with this snake.
6.) Papuan Python ophidiophobia
This large python has been known to get up to a weight of around 50 pounds and a length of over 13 feet. The papuan python can be commonly seen in various parts of Papua New Guinea. People living on this territory may experience some symptoms of ophidiophobia, such as an increased heart rate, increased perspiration, and shakiness, among several other symptoms. It may also not be very uncommon for someone living in New Guinea who has ophidiophobia to eventually flee the land to a new country in an attempt to reduce their intense fear of snakes.
7.) Burmese Python ophidiophobia
This huge python has been known to get up to weights of over 400 pounds. The burmese python can also get up to a length of around 19 feet. This very large snake can be found in various parts of southeast Asia. Its scale pattern is somewhat similar to that of the indian python in that it contains variances of brown, tan, and black. The burmese python is one of the largest snakes that exists. Such news may be very unsettling for those suffering from ophidiophobia, especially if they live in southeast Asia as this is where the burmese python can be commonly found.
8.) African Rock Python ophidiophobia
This very large snake has be reported to weigh around 250 pounds, while getting to lengths of around 25 feet. This snake can be commonly found in various parts of Africa. It has a very unique scale pattern showcasing brown, dark brown, and tan colors. Such a large snake may invoke a very high amount of fear in those suffering from ophidiophobia, so much so that the person experiencing it may also have full blown panic attacks as a result of it. Although this may not always be the case when someone sees an african rock python, it is still very possible to occur nonetheless.
9.) Cuban Boa ophidiophobia
This large snake has been known to weigh up to around 60 pounds and can get to a length of around 16 feet. Also, just as the name implies, the cuban boa can be found in various parts of Cuba. People living in or visiting Cuba may experience some symptoms of ophidiophobia due to the fact that the cuban boa can be commonly found here.
10.) Boa Constrictor ophidiophobia
The boa constrictor is one of the most well known big snakes. These large snakes can weigh over 100 pounds and can get up to lengths of around 14 feet and can be found in Mexico and South America. Like other large snakes, the boa constrictor will attempt to “constrict” its prey by wrapping its body around it, constricting its ability to breath, among other things. When their prey has either suffocated, been crushed to death, or has been knocked unconscious, the boa constrictor will then engulf their prey. Such a reality may be quite unsettling for someone suffering from ophidiophobia.
20 intriguing facts about snakes to test your fear of snakes
Below, you will find several facts about snakes that have been acquired by FactRetriever.com.
1.) There venom isn’t lethal to all animals
Not all animals can be killed by a snake’s venom alone, while there are many snakes that can quickly kill humans with their poisonous bite, there are some animals, such as the mongoose, which are immune to snake venom. Such news may help those suffering from ophidiophobia to have a sense of relief to a certain degree merely due to the fact that snake’s venom is not inherently deadly as the lethal danger they can potentially impose upon their foe will greatly depend on who their foe is.
2.) They defecate to survive
In some instances, a snake will actually defecate whenever they want in an attempt to discourage lurking predators from attacking them. This very strange defense mechanism may in fact help to save the snakes life insofar as the predator changed its mind about how tasty their prey initially appeared to be. Such a unsettling fact may be quite difficult for someone with ophidiophobia to cope with. However, they will likely not see a snake doing this in real life for the purposes just described, so this snake fact may not be as anxiety provoking as some of the other ones in this list.
3.) Some snakes have more than 400 ribs
Although we cannot see there ribs due to their thick scales, some snakes in fact do have more than 400 ribs protecting their internal organs. This makes sense we we take into consideration how long some snakes can be. Without this many ribs, their vital organs would be vulnerable to damage as they would only be protected by their scales. People who suffer from ophidiophobia may become even more fearful of snakes due to such an anatomical anomaly such as this.
4.) The inland taipan’s venom sacs hold enough poison to kill up to 80 people
Such an incredibly dangerous snake may make those suffering from ophidiophobia to experience symptoms of panic disorder as they may experience an increased heart rate, an increased rate of breathing, excessive sweating, and high blood pressure, among other things. Although such a fact will not evoke anxiety in everyone, those with ophidiophobia can expect to be highly anxious when learning of just how deadly the inland taipan’s venom truly is.
5.) Some snakes can strike their foe in less than a quarter second
Virtually all snakes can strike their prey with extremely quick precision. However, some snakes are much quicker than others. Take for instance the death adder, which has the fastest strike of any snake in the world. In fact, this snake can bite their foe, inject its venom in them, and recoil back into another striking position in under 0.15 seconds. People with ophidiophobia will likely find such a chilling fact very anxiety provoking, especially if they happen to live in Australia where the death adder is commonly found.
6.) Snakes have no ears
Snakes do not possess external ears, but instead use their skin, muscles, and their bones to carry sound vibrations to the inner ear.While snakes do not have external ears or eardrums, their skin, muscles, and bones carry sound vibrations to their inner ears. This means that snakes will likely be very superior at knowing if an animal is near them due to the vibrations the animal will make as they approach the snake. Such a skill will allow them to be much more adept at survival. Although this is clearly advantageous for the snake, it may be quite anxiety provoking for someone with ophidiophobia.
7.) Some snakes have over 200 teeth
This may be quite surprising to some people, especially seeing as how most people assume that snakes only have two fangs which they use to bite and inject their venom in their prey. Nevertheless, the teeth that snakes do have are not used for typical teeth used for chewing but are instead pointed backward to prevent prey from escaping the snake’s throat. This is quite unsettling for most people who fear snakes and may even invoke some symptoms of ophidiophobia in people who do not actually have the condition in its entirety.
8.) Some snakes can “fly”
There are actually five different species of “flying snakes” which can glide up to around 330 feet in the air. If it wasn’t bad enough that snakes can “climb” trees, they can also soar through the skies for short distances. In areas where such flying snakes live, it may not be uncommon for some people also living in those areas to experience some symptoms of ophidiophobia as they may fear a snake soaring down toward them in the way a bird would as it was attacking a smaller prey.
9.) Are completely covered in scales
It’s no secret that snakes have scales. However, it can be hard to imagine that the entirety of their body at the superficial level is completely comprised of scales, even their eyes. Instead of eyelids, snakes have special scales over their eyes called eye caps. Such protective armor may give those with ophidiophobia more anxiety then they would like to experience as snakes are essentially covered in body armor, even one of the most vulnerable part of all animals, the eyes is protected with specialized scales used for added protection, among other things.
10.) Snakes have a hydration pumping system
Snakes do not drink water in the same way that mammals do. In fact, when compared to mammals, the way in which snakes consume water appears quite alien. Instead of consuming water through their mouths, they instead dunk their snouts underwater and use their throats to pump water into their stomachs. Such a behavior sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie and yet it is how countless snakes around the world hydrate their bodies with water. Such an unsettling fact about snakes such as this may significantly exacerbate someone’s symptoms of ophidiophobia to the point to where they may endure painstaking anxiety as a result of it.
11.) They have heat-sensing organs
Some of the larger snakes have heat-sensing organs which are called labial pits in their snouts. These heat-seeking organs essentially allow the snake to”see” at night. These organs are activated by the body heat given off by other animals. Such news will likely be very unsettling for someone suffering from ophidiophobia. This is especially due to the fact that when walking outside at night, a snake may be able to see them, while they would have absolutely no awareness of the snake at all. Such a reality may make those with ophidiophobia to also experience some of the symptoms of nyctophobia (fear of the dark) as well.
12.) Snakes don’t need much food to survive
Typically, snakes only need to eat somewhere around 6–30 meals a year in order for them to be healthy. This might be quite shocking to those with ophidiophobia due to the fact that snakes only need a modicum amount of food to not only survive, but to also thrive. A human being would likely not survive eating 30 large meals a year, although for a snake this amount of meals would likely be much more than they would need to live healthily. So, the snakes sheer adeptness at survival may make someone’s fear of snakes even that much worse than it already was.
13.) Snakes don’t do well with the cold
If the temperature in their environment gets below 50° Fahrenheit then their body does not work properly. Although this is not good for the snakes experiencing such cold weather, it is likely to be comforting news to someone suffering from ophidiophobia as they can have the reassurance that the snakes may not be as aggressive or quick as they normally would in warmer climates. Be that as it may, if you live in a warm climate and suffer from ophidiophobia, then you can expect to find such news uncomforting as the snakes in these climates will thrive.
14.) Snakes can stretch their mouths extremely wide
Snakes are unable to chew. So, this means that they have no choice but to swallow their meals whole. With this being the case, snakes are able to stretch their mouths very wide due to their very flexible lower jaw. In fact, snakes can eat other animals that are 75%–100% bigger than their own bodies. This may be one of the most unsettling facts about snakes for those suffering with ophidiophobia due to the mere fact that some of the larger snakes have been known to consume children or small adults. This reality may be very difficult for someone with an irrational fear of snakes to cope with.
15.) Snakes are deep divers
Sea snakes with their paddle-shaped tails have been known to dive in the ocean at depths of over 300 feet. This may not mean much to most people, but for those of you with ophidiophobia who enjoy swimming or deep sea diving, you may find that such information does not sit very well with you. The fact that snakes can dive so deep in the ocean may make some people with a fear of snakes to also experience some symptoms of thalassophobia (fear of the sea).
16.) Snakes have no eyelids
In lieu of eyelids, snakes have a single transparent scale on each of their eyes which is called a brille. These brille help to protect the snakes eyes. If anything, this may give those suffering from ophidiophobia more of an unsettling feeling as it is yet another thing with which they can point to that shows just how “alien” these reptiles are when compared to humans. Someone with ophidiophobia may notice their anxiety exacerbating by merely thinking of this fact.
17.) Cobras have eyes behind their head
Some cobras have large spots on the back of their hood which look like eyes to make them appear intimidating when viewed from behind. This is truly a marvel of evolution as one could imagine how such an illusion could help save the snake from being attacked from behind. People with ophidiophobia may find cobras to be even more frightening now realizing that some of them can intimidate their foes even when their back is facing them.
18.) Snakes never stop growing
Although a snake’s growth rate will slow down significantly as it gets older it never actually stops growing. This will likely be very unsettling news for people who live in areas where the larger snakes such as pythons live, as if they weren’t already large enough. It is easy to see how someone’s symptoms of ophidiophobia can be immensely exacerbated by merely dwelling on this fact. In such a person with ophidiophobia, the mere thought of snakes constantly growing may induce feelings of intense anxiety within them. If this were to be the case, then they would likely try to do their best to refrain from thinking about it.
19.) Some snakes can live over 25 years
Depending on the particular species, some snakes can live for more than 25 years. For people suffering with ophidiophobia, this may be much longer than they would like these snakes to live. The mere fact that some snakes can live to be over 25 may induce some very uncomfortable symptoms of ophidiophobia, such as a racing heart beat, increased respiration, excessive sweating, higher blood pressure, muscle tension, and shakiness, among other things. Although the snakes that live to be over 25 years old may be anomalies, the fact that some of them do is likely enough to give someone with ophidiophobia a high amount of unwanted anxiety.
20.) Snakes can’t hear music
If you are unsure of what a snake charmer is, it is a person who plays music (typically a flute) while having a snake of some kind appear to be dancing or swaying to the music played by the snake charmer. This is an illusion as snakes cannot even hear the music being played. Instead, the snake responds to the vibrations of the charmer’s tapping foot or to the movement of the flute. Although this will likely not induce any sort of fear in someone suffering from ophidiophobia, it is still an intriguing fact about snakes that one wouldn’t come to realize at first glance.