Should You Worry About Being Eaten by a Snake?

Should You Worry About Being Eaten by a Snake?

It can actually happen and did last week in South Asia. Villagers could see the missing man’s boots inside the snake.

Here’s some crazy news: an unlucky soul in Indonesia was killed and swallowed whole by a python this week, on the way to harvest palm oil. Talk about a bad way to go! Simply put, there’s not much more to say about it: it’s shocking.

The violent news, which was reported on and through numerous other news outlets, highlights the dangers for people living in some parts of the world that few of us face here, in North America.

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It made many of us squirm in our beds, and feel more than a bit uneasy before going to sleep, even with the firm knowledge that there was no snake inside the house, or anywhere remotely near it, really.

But just how worried SHOULD we be about the idea of being eaten whole, by a slithering reptile?


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The Humane Society of the United States declares that 17 people have actually been killed by snakes in the U.S since 1978, by being wrapped up in their coils and squeezed. The attacks took place all over the U.S, and include babies, toddlers and adults alike. But none have reported a human actually being eaten.

How about snakes in the forest? There is a reproducing population of Burmese pythons in Florida’s Everglades. They were first spotted in Everglades National Park in the 1980s, when experts guess, someone dropped some off, getting rid of pets that became too difficult to handle.

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Wikipedia estimates that upwards of 300,000 pythons may presently live in Southern Florida- in fact, the numbers seem to have become so problematic that the U.S Department of the Interior banned all importation of Burmese pythons in 2012.

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Apparently, there is a fear that the pythons in Florida could spread into other Southern states, and even possibly more northerly ones.

A big freeze in the winter of 2010 in the Southern U.S might have done some natural selection and weeded out the ‘weak’ pythons, leaving the remaining snakes to be ones that instinctively know how to protect themselves in the cold, something that they could pass down to further generations, if it’s in their genes.


Sources say that poisonous snakes kill around 90,000 people around the world each year, but most of this is by biting.

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The good news is that, once a large constricting snake swallows something like an alligator, a baby cow or your neighbor, it won’t be eating again for around 2 months- which gives you enough time to plan your escape, or its demise.



To read about how Akbar, the man who was eaten by the reticulated python on the island of Sulawesi last week was actually killed by a giant snake, click here.

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