Snake Week: World’s Deadliest Snakes

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Snake Week: World’s Deadliest Snakes

Ophidians; serpents; Joe Blakes; sneks; nope-ropes; or Satan. Whatever you call them, snakes and humans have a long and hostile relationship. Even babies react emotionally to snakes before they even know what they are, suggesting our fear of serpents is hard-wired.

Snakes play critical roles in our mythologies. The first snake coaxed the fall of man. The beast who fell Thor was Jormungand, a sea serpent. A head full of snakes is the curse put upon Medusa. St Patrick drove ‘snakes’ out of Ireland to become their patron saint.

Unlike Ireland, which is devoid of snakes, there are still many places on earth where the deadliest serpents slither around. This week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we take a look at some of the most venomous snakes in three regions of the world for your fascination.

Monday, March 8: World’s Deadliest Snakes – Indo-Pacific
Home to the king of cobras, where pythons lay deep tracks and vipers kill before you can blink.

Tuesday, March 9: World’s Deadliest Snakes – Africa
Among the trees, death slithers from branch to branch, skin the colour of leaves. Mambas with mouths black as night creep in the grass out of sight.

Wednesday, March 10: World’s Deadliest Snakes – America
Where the rattle sounds, there lies death, an angel’s warning to avoid your end. Around the water’s edge, a white mouth serpent lies in wait.

Despite the fear they induce in us, we’re better off thanks to snakes. They only strike if stepped on or cornered. Even the most dangerous of snakes will leave you alone if you do the same. They play vital roles within ecosystems, not to mention helping control rats, mice and other vermin. Helping them survive is a win-win situation.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6 PM on National Geographic Wild (ch 221) from Monday, 08 March

Author: Jan Hendrik Harmse