Can Snakes Actually Eat People?

For some snakes out there, eating rats for lunch may not be enough. Even though this question has been around for a long time, some people may still be wondering: can snakes actually eat humans?

Let’s just say that those who are afraid of snakes should stay away from Green Anacondas…

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Probably one of the most notable experiments regarding this question happened in 2014. A very brave human, named Paul Rosolie, wearing a special suit and a cable attached to his leg, allowed himself to be swallowed by a green anaconda just to test the theory (after he found out that anacondas sometimes eat cows). Now, you can watch the TV Show online, but we’ll save you 2 hours by telling that in the end he doesn’t do it anymore. Want another spoiler? There’s no documented proof that a snake has ever eaten a human being, so you may have no idea which stories online may actually be true.

Getting back to our main question, certain snakes can theoretically eat humans. Theoretically. And here’s another myth busted: snakes can’t unhinge their jaws! However, their jaws are unique thanks to an elastic ligament located in the chin area, which allows the jawbones to move independently of one another. In short terms, a snake big enough could open its mouth enough to make a human fit in.

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Tropical ecologist specialized in green anacondas Dr. Jesus A. Rivas says that even though a snake could eat most of us out there, it’s very unlikely that it’d do it. Snakes are unable to breathe and swallow simultaneously, which means that the bigger their prey is, the bigger the risk of asphyxiation. An 180-pound snake, for instance, is perfectly able to eat a 180-pound human successfully, but that would most likely cause permanent damage to the snake.

 

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