Snakes are victims of many prejudices, which may explain people's fear of them. Here are some commonly heard beliefs and their answers, which may help to change the way some people view snakes. Because to stop being afraid of something, all you have to do is know it! 

Now let's not wait too long, here is the TOP 10 myths about snakes!

1. All snakes are venomous

Wrong! Of the almost 3000 species recorded in the world, only 10% are considered dangerous for humans. These species are mainly present in India and Australia. The majority serpent are constrictors, which therefore kill by smothering the prey, without possessing venom. 

Furthermore, not all snake venoms are lethal or dangerous to humans. Not every bite causes poisoning, because the venom is very valuable to the snake and takes a long time to produce, so they do not use it systematically. 

2. Snakes sting with their tongue

Wrong! The tongue of the snake is bifid (split in two) because they use it to detect the direction in which the prey has gone. Indeed, depending on whether they detect more odors on the right or left side of their tongue, they will assess where the prey has gone. Their tongue is therefore a sensory organ as in humans and other animals.

Being touched by the tongue of a snake has no impact, they simply learn about their environment. In the same way, if they stick out their tongue when looking at you, it is not because they find you appetizing 😋, but because they are looking for smells to identify their environment. 

3. A snake is cold and slimy

Wrong! A snake is ectothermic and poikilothermic. They do not produce heat, so the heat of their body depends on their environment. A snake is therefore not cold, it is just at the temperature of the place where it is. If it has spent time at its hot spot before you take it, it will be at the temperature of its hot spot.
Finally, the snake does not secrete any substance on its skin. Its skin is therefore not sticky, but smooth and rather soft thanks to its scales.

4. Snakes are nasty, they only want to bite

Wrong! A snake, when it feels threatened, will always try to flee. If it puts itself in position in front of you, it is a defensive posture, when it feels cornered and has no other choice but to face you. A snake bites to hunt, but it sees man as a threat, so it will run away. If you get bitten by a snake, take a step back and ask yourself why. If you tried to catch it once it got stuck, it's normal. If you stepped on it (as often happens in the forest), that's also normal. Just as a cat or dog would have bitten you because it felt attacked.

 5. Snakes are evil, they eat very cute mice

True and false! Yes, snakes are carnivorous. A few species eat fish, insects or eggs, but they are very rare, most of them eat mammals, and are therefore fed with mice or rats in captivity. For larger specimens, this can go as far as rabbits.
Are they bad for all that? They feed just as you feed on cows, pigs, chickens... and your cat feeds on mice, mice and birds! So why blame snakes for what we or other animals do too? 🤨 

6. I do a good deed by killing a snake crossed in the forest or on the road, it can be a dangerous adder!

Wrong! First of all, vipers rarely bite, and inject venom only 1 time out of 5. Indeed, the production of venom is very slow, so they use it mainly to kill their prey. Moreover, their venom is not fatal to humans, except in the case of an allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock). Their venom causes;

  • Bruising 🔥
  • Nausea 🤢
  • Local pain 🤕

which must be treated in hospital. 🏥

Moreover, most people confuse garter snakes with adders, and therefore kill snakes on sight, whereas a garter snake is harmless. When we know the difference, these two categories of snakes are however easy to differentiate: snakes have a triangular head, a slit pupil ("cat") and are small and stocky (they rarely reach one meter). 

Gartersnakes, on the other hand, have a round head and pupils, and are long and slender. Snakes flee from humans, if you see a snake and don't know how to distinguish it, hit hard on the ground. The snake being deaf, it will use these vibrations to identify a predator, and flee.

if you want to know more about how to identify a snake do not hesitate to read our article on the subject 

    7. Terrariophiles are sadists who don't like animals since they give mice to their snakes.

    Wrong! The mouse is the snake's natural food. A snake is not a vegetarian, it is impossible to replace its menu. The terrariophile therefore only respects the well-being and needs of his animal. In general, the mouse is given dead so that it does not suffer during the meal, and does not risk injuring the snake. Any future terrariophile must be prepared to feed (dead) mice to his snake, or turn to another animal.

    Non-terrariophiles must therefore respect the way of life of these animals, just as you do not prevent your cat from killing birds or mice, or try to give lettuce to your dog even if you are a vegetarian: this is not the way of life of your animal.  

    8. Snakes are wild animals taken to satisfy selfish needs.

    True and false! Just like your ferret / rabbit / hamster / mouse / fish / bird. These are wild animals that are sold as pets, sometimes taken, often born in captivity. The same goes for snakes and other reptiles. If you blame terrariophiles for having reptiles, do the same with aquarists and people who have a small mammal at home. The only difference is our relationship to the animal, as the snake often has a negative reputation that is not justified, compared to a mammal. 

     9. Snakes get into their owner's bed to measure it and find out if they can eat it

    Wrong! This urban belief is widespread, and every snake owner has surely heard it at least once. We don't know where this idea comes from, but it is fake. If a snake that escaped from its terrarium ended up in someone's bed, it was because he was looking for warmth. 

     10. Snake owners give them kittens to eat

    Wrong! This belief has a hard life because of the people who have fun spreading it... But let's not be teddy bears, there are surely people who do it... But it's not a generality, it's minorities who generally don't shout it from the rooftops, and do it for a reason. The number of cats to give away each year is huge, because of people who do not sterilize by their cats. So some people may have seen this as an easy way to feed their snake.

    This is absolutely not endorsed by the terrariophile community, and no, if a snake owner comes to you to adopt a kitten, it will not end up in the belly of the animal! Terrariophiles are above all animal lovers, who often also have other animals in their homes (cat, dog, bird, mouse or pet rat!).

    Here's the end of our top 10! If you like snakes, discover our sterling silver and stainless steel snake rings collection.

    snake ring collection


    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published