Monster Monday: Man-Eating Snakes


What is it about snakes that scare the bejesus out of most people? There some deep-seated horror in the subconscious that spawns horror movies like Anaconda. Every few months an email goes around the internet with those pictures of a man’s legs and lower torso sticking out of the burst belly of a giant snake. Rumors and urban legends about people-swallowing snakes are so popular even the new Discovery channel show Monsterquest covered it, sending investigative teams to the Everglades and the Amazon to look for uber-snakes.

For me, the idea of being swallowed whole is even more horrifying than the idea of being killed by a wild animal. I think it’s because ignorance is bliss: I don’t have a big sentimental attachment to my body after I die. Donate it to science, bury it, burn it, leave it for the wild animals as nourishment: I won’t be using it anymore, and one way or another Nature will take care of recycling it for something else’s use. However, I do NOT relish the idea of somebody or something else making use of MY body before I’m done with it. Add to that the speed with which constrictors eat their prey, the “eww” factor of saliva and presumed crushed bones, and the prospect of being swallowed alive and whole is just not a good way to go.

So, is this some throwback to our cave-man memories in the lizard part of our brain, some deep subconscious memory of the fear our ancestors felt while walking the jungles and grasslands? Is it memory from even before Homo-Erectus…maybe a fear from the evolutionary brain dating back to our primate days? Or, is it because we HAVE had to contend with monster snakes that could swallow a human being, a cow, a horse, with no difficulty?

This article just serves as a reminder to skeptics out there: just because we don’t see evidence of a monster in plain sight doesn’t mean it never existed. The world was about 10 degrees warmer year round when this snake lived. Now THAT’s enough to make a girl worry about global warming…

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