Fact: Snakes can still kill you after they have lost their head!

by - September 07, 2014

If you know our Indian myths and folk lores you would know better than to piss off a snake. Those guys are vindictive sons of reptiles and often reincarnate into Sridevi and come back to take revenge on you after death.
Say that I look better than Jeetendra in White!

I always laugh at the idiocy of such moments in Bollywood movies but it turns out those snakes are the ones having the last laugh.
Last month, a chef in China (but of course it just had to be China) was killed by a snake. Not the rarest of events, you say? Well, here's the crazy part. That snake had apparently lost his head awhile back. I mean, literally, lost his head! A snake which had been beheaded 20 minutes earlier skipped the 'reincarnation' queue and just decided to bite the chef to death then and there itself on the kitchen table (because of course, that's where all the snakes are in China).

I thought it was ridiculous so I decided to read up on it and the more I read, the more I realized how wrong I was. For us lowly humans, a bad crack at the level of the neck can be instantly fatal because of our reliance on the spinal cord for that thing called 'living'. But snakes have a whole different operating system.
Everything a snake needs to bite you and inject venom in you is there within its skull and head. This includes:
1. Those Colgate teeth.
2. That 'aaj kuch toofani karte hai' flavoured venom and the 'pet bottle' glands.
3. The damn nerves that make it all work together.

Being a cold blooded creature seems to delay the whole process of death and leaves that cranium still functioning long enough for it to be active, even if you do 'kill it'. Apparently rattlesnakes can still bite you an hour after being decapitated!

The above video went viral awhile back and deservedly so. It makes the point all the more clear, I feel. In a country like ours, snakes reportedly kill 46,000 Indians a year, as per the 2011 statistics. (That is more people than a Sajid Khan movie has brought to the movie theatre in years.)
We all have our own anecdotes revolving around our encounters with snakes, one of which I will recount in the coming days. Most of these stories usually do not end well for the snake. But it is important to not get complacent even after you have apparently killed them.

There is a 'shedding skin' joke in here somewhere
You see, sometimes those damn Indian legends can be spooky right, too!

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  1. "colgate teeth and kuch toofani karte hain" haha! Awesome u r doc!

  2. Hahaha. The scariest rumors are the ones where they talk about snakes/pythons popping out of the potty, Roshan! Ewww!

    Movies focus on the "Ichadari" snakes :)

    1. ah yes... my all time fav movie is the super awesome Jaani Dushman featuring Armaan Kohli and Manisha and Akshay and Sunny and Sunil and Sonu and... well, it was just magically awesome! :)

  3. liked the humor element in your writing, specially the parenthetical statements.....amusing!

  4. That was an informative and humor laden post...I didn't know that snakes can be dangerous even after their heads are severed...interesting !!

    1. same pinch... neither did I. And an hour later also! Just imagine that...

  5. Reading your post has brought a smile on my face :) I remember seeing that Sreedevi movie ages back! But had no idea that even headless snakes can be deadly!

    1. same here.. was totally shocked by the info I read up.. Thats why I chose to share it...

  6. hey, I didn't know it. It is downright spooky. You know what is spookier? The exact same scene of Nagina playing on my tv screen as I was reading this post.

  7. Really amazing writing I am happy to pass by your posts>>

    Keep sharing!!

  8. Very nice article keep up the good work.


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