16 Reasons Why Snakes Aren’t Really Scary

While snakes are cold-blooded biologically, it’s humans who tend to act cold-blooded—killing these sensitive animals for food, wine, blood, and clothing and trapping, confining, abusing, tormenting, and neglecting them for “entertainment.”

World Snake Day

Every year, at least 440,000 pythons are slaughtered in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam just to be made into frivolous fashion accessories. But we’re here to tell you that snakes can be quite charming. (“Snake charmers,” on the other hand, are vile.)

We hope these 16 interesting snake facts will help you warm up to our ectothermic fellow Earthlings:

1. If snakes could put a “leave me alone” sign on their bedroom door, they probably would.

They’re shy and secretive, and they don’t go picking fights or bite out of malice, as they’re not aggressive or territorial. They only strike in order to eat or defend themselves when necessary.

Snake Facts

2. Snakes are mostly solitary, except during mating season.

Anacondas mate in a “breeding ball,” which consists of one female and approximately 12 males. They stay this way for up to a month—hey, it’s just nature. 🤷

Snake Couple Mating

3. Outside of Antarctica and the North and South poles, snakes are found nearly everywhere on Earth except for Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Perhaps they couldn’t get past the TSA in real life. ✈️

Cobra Snake

4. There are around 3,000 different species of snakes.

Roughly 600 of them are venomous, but only about 200 are capable of causing significant injury to or killing humans.

Speak Up for Snakes Abused and Killed in the Pet Trade

5. Snake venom immobilizes prey and aids in digestion by breaking down flesh.

It’s not meant to kill humans. Venomous snakes probably don’t even realize that they have venom. Some of them have even died after biting and poisoning themselves by mistake.

Did I Do That GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

6. In the U.S., a human is nine times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a venomous snake.

Friendly Snake

7. Intense fear of snakes is called ophidiophobia, but perhaps ophidiophobes have it all wrong.

Some of the most venomous snakes in existence live in the sea. However, they pose little threat to humans because they’re shy and their fangs are too short to penetrate a diver’s suit very easily.

Urge the U.S. Military to Stop Using Snakes in Training Exercises

8. Most snakes lay eggs, but some species—including sea snakes—give birth!

Mother pythons incubate their eggs, and king cobras are cautious parents who defend and protect their eggs.

Snake Hatching

9. Snakes are reptiles and have been around for approximately 100 million years—evolving from prehistoric lizards.

They had back legs for 70 million years before losing them. Some snakes, such as pythons and boas, still have remnants of back legs.

Snake who looks like a dinosaur

10. Snakes smell with their tongue and can even tell which direction a smell is coming from.

World Snake Day

11. Some sea snakes can breathe partially through their skin, allowing them to stay underwater longer.

12. Snakes are basically solar-powered.

They rely on external sources (notably, the sun) to give them energy. Without warmth, snakes don’t have enough energy to digest their food or move. This explains why they like to stretch out on roads and rocky areas, because stones and rocks absorb heat from the sun, which warms them up.

Snake Basking

13. Snakes are bony—they can have up to 1,200 bones.

Adult humans have only 206—psh.

Snake bones

14. Snake scales (and rattlesnake rattles) contain keratin—the same substance found in human hair and nails.

But snakes are sensitive and can feel pain, of course.

World Snake Day

15. Snakes don’t have great eyesight.

They respond to movement, which scares them. Most snake species don’t have color vision. If you stand completely still in front of a snake, you will probably be mistaken for a tree or a rock.

Playful snake

16. Some snakes have girl power: The tiny Brahminy blind snake, or flowerpot snake, is the only snake species made up solely of females, meaning they can reproduce all on their own.

This species is also the most widespread terrestrial snake in the world. 🌎♀🐍

Flowerpot snake

There’s not much to fear when it comes to snakes, other than what humans are capable of doing to them. The next time someone tries to villainize our flexible friends, tell them that some snakes are caring mothers—they’re made of blood, flesh, bones, and keratin, just like we are—and they’re just trying to get by without drawing attention to themselves or causing any trouble.

Tell LVMH to Stop Exploiting Snakes and Selling Exotic-Animal Skins!

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind