People that are afraid of snakes


New member
Jun 15, 2023
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Newton Iowa
Trying to get a better understanding of why some people are afraid of snakes. And I'm referring to the vast majority of snakes which are non-venomous.
Is it the way they move, the cold skin, the color, the size, or what?

Also, which kind of snake are they most afraid of, Colubrids (rat snakes, racers, bullsnakes, water snakes), pythons, or boas?
There probably aren't many people here who have a fear of snakes. Comments sections on YouTube videos might be a good place to get hints (though beware of commenting bots -- you can get answers to your questions, but bots will repeat some of those answers so simply because half the responses are "Eww, they look slimy" doesn't mean that half of people think this).

There is a lot of published research on this sort of thing -- searching Google Scholar would be a good place to start.

Keep in mind there's a distinction between a phobia and a general fear. Researching the former will lead you into some pretty technical papers, while the latter is possibly more what you're looking for. On the general fear, here's a paper that looks pretty interesting and ties in a bit with some other discussions that have been ongoing here:

Human attitudes toward herpetofauna
Does anyone here have friends or family that are afraid of snakes? Have you ever asked them why?

Are they more afraid of a 2 foot garter snake or an 8 foot boa constrictor? These two snakes look different, move different, and it seems would generate a different reaction.
I think it's just general phobia and acorn that comes from the church and the thought that snakes or serpents for that matter are the devil incarnate

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