Relax, Indiana Jones. Snakes aren’t so scary… as long as you’re wearing a good pair of jeans.
According to research done by scientists in California, denim provides more than classic American fashion statement. While this may seem somewhat obvious, the researchers are happy to announce that covering your legs with jeans doesn’t just reduce the amount of venom that a snakebite can inject into your system—it reduces it by a lot. From Reuters:
Drs. Shelton S. Herbert and William K. Hayes used latex gloves filled with saline to simulate a human appendage, then exposed the gloves to bites from small and large southern Pacific rattlesnakes. Some of the latex “limbs” were covered in a layer of denim.
A snake with a single clawed foot growing out of its side was reportedly discovered in the bedroom of a 66-year old woman in Southwest China.
The London Telegraph has a photo and an account of the woman’s hospitality toward the talon-ed serpent:
“I woke up and heard a strange scratching sound. I turned on the light and saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw,” said Mrs. Duan of Suining, southwest China.
Mrs Duan said she was so scared she grabbed a shoe and beat the snake to death before preserving its body in a bottle of alcohol.
The 16-inch long snake is now being studied by scientists to determine the cause of the bizzaro mutation. However, if sci-fi horror-comedies are any indication, let’s hope it’s not from pouring formaldehyde down the sink.
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Spitting cobras are famous for their terrifying defense mechanism: They spit venom directly into an attacker’s eyes, causing severe pain and possibly blindness. Now, scientists have learned that the name “spitting cobra” is a misnomer, since the snake doesn’t actually spit out its venom. Instead, it sprays the poison in geometric patterns such as paired ovals, similar to the way a pitcher winds up to throw a ball.
And how did this astonishing fact come to light? Biologist Bruce Young at the University of Massachusetts Lowell examined the spitting habits of three captive species of cobra…by provoking them to spit venom in his face.
No, he’s not crazy—he wore a visor fitted with an accelerometer, so a computer could trace his eye and head movements in 3D while he taunted the angry reptiles. Young also tracked the snakes’ movements, using high-speed videography to quantify the sway of their heads and electromyography (EMG) to measure the contraction of their head and neck muscles.