Five Things Movies Get Wrong about Snakes

Movies love to take on the angle that certain animals are aggressive either because they look intimidating or because this adds to their mystique since, between their appearance and the stories that have been told about them in the past, some animals tend to be a little more impressive when it comes to storytelling. Snakes are a bit creepy sometimes, since their eating habits are definitely something unique and hard to watch, and the way they glide across the ground without the benefit of arms or legs does unnerve some folks. But like any animal in the world, they’re typically not as aggressive or as complicated as one might think since like any other creature they’re born to follow a few directives that contribute to their overall health and well-being and are usually hardwired to follow said directives as much as they can unless something, or someone, stops them from doing this. Animals tend to follow the natural course that they’re given at birth, and are only ever seen to deviate from this course when there’s no other choice. Snakes, for their own part, are largely misunderstood by many people since what we see in the movies is what people tend to believe is real sometimes, when in truth, much of what we see is not the way things happen in real life.

Here are a few things that movies get wrong about snakes.

5. Snakes won’t bite ‘just because’.

It doesn’t matter if you’re walking somewhere in the vicinity of a snake since they’re not bound to suddenly take offense that you’re within their line of sight or that you just happen to walk by and didn’t announce yourself. There are moments when humans can be bitten since they don’t take enough care to watch where they’re walking, particularly in the wilds, in areas where it might be understood that snakes make their homes, but snakes aren’t going to bite just because they decided to be a jerk one day and have an attitude. There are plenty of reasons why a snake will bite, but it won’t be just because they felt like it.

4. More often than not, snakes will move away from a human.

A lot of animals don’t want anything to do with humans and even if they’re not particularly scared of people they prefer to not be touched, manhandled, or otherwise disturbed. Movies tend to show snakes having a serious attitude and either creeping up on humans or lying in wait for that perfect strike. The truth is that snakes will tend to make their exit pretty quick if there’s a human within the vicinity and will make themselves scarce before they decide to attack if that ever happens. Animals aren’t bound to ‘raise up’ like humans and have an issue with people when they see them coming.

3. Bigger snakes can’t move as quickly as movies depict.

Some people might want to argue that a bigger snake has bigger muscles and therefore can move that much quicker. If someone speaks this nonsense to you just laugh and walk away, because they obviously don’t know what they’re talking about. The heavier something is, the slower it moves. In the movie Anaconda, we see a massive snake moving about at lightning speed because it’s scary and effective to think that something so big can move so fast. But in reality, big snakes don’t move this fast since like it or not, slinging all that weight around takes time and a lot of effort, meaning that the heavier the snake is, the less likely they’ll be able to move that quickly.

2. If let loose from a crate or a box most snakes would seek a dark, warm place.

Given that snakes are cold-blooded they will typically find a warm place to hole up and hide. This means that movies such as Snakes on a Plane might have gotten a few things right, but the idea that the snakes would escape their containment and go after the humans on the plane is kind of ridiculous. A cold-blooded animal can’t function quite as well when their body temperature starts to drop, meaning that hunting becomes a little more difficult. Plus, with the aforementioned idea that snakes really don’t bother with humans unless there’s no choice, snakes are bound to find the darkest, warmest hole they can to hide in unless their container is already plenty warm.

1. Snakes attack when they feel threatened, not to be aggressive or because they see humans as food or available targets.

This is true of many animals if anyone has ever read an actual study or been in the wild and experienced it for themselves. Snakes will tend to move away from humans, but if they’re given no other choice, meaning they’re backed into a corner or treated with anything that can be identified as aggression, they may very well attack. This is usually defensive though since snakes don’t generally target humans unless they feel that they’re in some kind of danger. The fight or flight reflex is very real and many animals will choose flight when they feel threatened, but if they can’t get away then of course they’ll fight.

Snakes look a little creepy, but they’re far more docile than people think.

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