You may have noticed that, excepting the occasional zombie apocalypse, we humans tend to function best with our nervous systems intact and our brains, limbs and major organs all connected and happily communicating with each other. Well, we feel it's our duty to inform you that not all creatures are quite so picky when it comes to the intactness of their bodies. (And it's not at all because we get a cheap kick out of giving our readers bed-pissingly horrible nightmares. Honest.)
6Headless Snakes Can Still Kill You
When faced with a venomous snake, most people's natural reaction would fall into one of three categories: fleeing, freezing on the spot or OH GOD OH GOD KILL IT CHOP OFF ITS EVIL POINTY HEAD.
While the latter course of action may seem like the surefire way to avoid getting bitten, it turns out that might not be the case. Don't believe us? Well, here's a new one for the Nightmare Department:
If you did not or could not watch that video, we will spoil both it and your dreams: It's a video of a snake head not only refusing to do what any severed head with a shred of common decency should do (die), but also rearing and trying to bite the living shit out of anyone dumb enough to get too close to it.
If you're anything like us, cutting off a deadly snake's head is your best and only move. If that doesn't work, our only follow-up attack is bowing respectfully and doing whatever the hell that severed head wants us to do.
So, What Makes This Abomination Possible?
The snake has heat-sensitive pits at either side of its face, which it uses to detect threats -- and let's face it, if you're close enough for your body heat to be detected, you're close enough to be considered a threat. Oh, and also what the hell are you doing standing so close to a venomous snake's face?
These heat-sensitive pits are capable of detecting a threatening presence for hours after death, which means the snake may continue to defend itself, zombie-style. And yes, this applies even if the body is no longer attached. So anyone dumb enough to poke and prod it to assess its level of deadness may quickly find themselves with a sudden increase in the level of pissiness of their pants when the snake's movement sensors kick into action.
But don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom, because a snake's venom loses its toxicity after its death. Except that's a total lie, which means that getting bitten by a dead snake can make you just as dead as getting bitten by a living one, but add to the excruciating pain the severe humiliation, because who the hell loses a fight to a dead animal?
"We vasectomied you after applying the antivenom. Everyone agreed it was the most ethical choice."
Well, a Washington man known as Anderson, for one. The 53-year-old and his son tag-teamed a rattlesnake outside their house and pulled a Walking Dead on it with a shovel, only to have the head rear up and bite him when he went to check out the success of their mission. In his own words: "When I reached down to pick up the head, it raised around and did a back flip almost, and bit my finger."
So what we're telling you here, we guess, is that a severed snake head not only refuses to die, but its svelte new bodiless form can perform freaking acrobatics to get at you with its poisonous bits.