Saturday, February 9, 2008
COMMON SNAKE MYTHS IN INDIA
The Snake is a powerful symbol in Indian mythology and Hinduism. The 'Nag' is worshipped by people across the country. Some of these mythical snakes are protectors, while others are destroyers. The picture of Lord Shiva is incomplete without the cobra around his neck, and Lord Vishnu rests on a seven headed snake. There are hundreds of references to snakes with mythical powers in stories and epics. This has made snakes a powerful symbol in the Indian culture. But there are thousands of beliefs and myths surrounding snakes, widespread in the country, which are misleading. Most of them are spread by the snake charmers. During our snake rescues, our team members are showered with questions such as "Do snakes drink milk?" or "Is there a two headed snake?"
To know more about the truth continue reading..
Myth: Rat Snakes are poisonous.
Scientific Facts: - Rat snakes are NON POISONOUS, rodent eating reptiles.
Myth: Rat Snakes mate with cobras.
Scientific Facts: - Rat Snakes or any other snakes will not mate with any snake out of its own species. Cobras eat other snakes so a mating between a cobra and a rat snake is not possible.
Myth: Snakes drink Milk
Scientific Facts: - Snakes do not drink milk, neither can they digest it properly. They are reptiles and have no association with milk, only mammals who have mammary glands can produce milk and thus, a liking for milk in non mammals is unlikely. But in a crises when severely dehydrated, a snake might drink any liquid available.
Myth: - Some snakes grow a beard as they get older
Scientific Facts: - Snakes are reptiles and do not have any hair on their bodies let alone a beard. It is impossible for them to have beards for their bodies do not have any ability of growing hair.
Myth: - Snakes carry a diamond in their forehead
Scientific Facts: - It is impossible for a snake to carry anything in its head. The mythological status attached with a snake in India is probably responsible for this myth.
Myth: -Snakes remember you if you hurt it.
Scientific Facts: - Snakes are not vengeful animals and do not have the necessary intelligence to remember people or places for getting revenge. Hindi Movies have a lot to do with the creation of this myth
Myth: -If one snake is killed its partner will trace you (no matter wherever you are)
Scientific Facts: - Once again snakes are not vengeful animals and are not interested in chasing or tracing people who hurt them. They do not have the necessary memory and intellect to remember people to trace them back. Neither do snakes have a feeling of camaraderie or pair for life. Once again bollywood is responsible for this myth.
Myth: -Flying snakes can pierce somebody’s forehead or put out their eyes.
Scientific Facts: - A flying snake does not actually fly but only glide through the air by extending ribs and pulling in the underside. It can glide a distance of 330 Ft or 100 mt. It has an elongated head, which gives the scary feeling that it can pierce a person’s head or eyes.
Myth: - Snakes found in India can spit venom.
Scientific Facts: - No snake found in India can spit venom. Only spitting Cobras can spit venom and they are not found in India.
Myth:-There are “Two- headed” snakes.
Scientific Facts: - The snake charmers spread the myth about the two headed snakes only to maintain the mythological status of the snakes in India so they can continue attracting large crowds to their snake shows. In reality nothing as a two headed snake exists.
Posted by Anju Devanur at 3:01 AM