snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Old Wives' Tales

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 20 August 2010, 07:14 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,643
Snake Rattlesnake rattles cause blindness

Comment: I have heard that touching a rattlesnakes rattle and then
touching your eyes can make you go blind. Is this true? I can't find much
at all on this, but my husband has heard of it too.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 20 August 2010, 07:15 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,643
Icon108

That might be a distinct possibility if the rattle were still attached to a (live) snake at the time.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 20 August 2010, 09:58 PM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

I grew up in rattler country -- my b.i.l. loves to call 'em "buzzworms" -- and I've heard a lot of rattler lore that was total hogwash. If you kill one, he "stays alive" till sunset; they won't cross a horse-hair rope, etc. But I'd never heard that one!

Silas
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 20 August 2010, 10:05 PM
geminilee's Avatar
geminilee geminilee is offline
 
Join Date: 02 December 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 11,518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
If you kill one, he "stays alive" till sunset;
I can see where that one came from. Snakes' corpses remain capable of muscle movements for a very long time after death. I knew a man who was bitten by a snake that had been chopped in half for several hours; he reached down to pick it up and the head end had enough reflex muscle reaction to come around and get him*. I don't know why it is "sunset" especially, but the idea that they may stay "alive" for some time after being killed is not hard to explain.

*Not a hard or accurate bite, just tagged him with a fang, but it was enough to need a dose of antivenin.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05 September 2010, 01:23 PM
Loyhargil's Avatar
Loyhargil Loyhargil is offline
 
Join Date: 20 August 2004
Location: Iowa
Posts: 3,708
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
I can see where that one came from. Snakes' corpses remain capable of muscle movements for a very long time after death.
Not to mention, they aren't alwas dead when you think they are.

My brother once ran over two rattlesnakes with his pickup down by the river. He threw them in the back of the truck and brought them home to show Mom and I.

He didn't tell us what he had. He just came up to the house and said, "Come here, you have to see this!"

We followed him to his truck, he reached in, and pulled out the two rattlesnakes, by the tails.

My mom, a good Irish girl, was terrified.

Moreso when the not-actually-dead snakes started swinging up to bite my brother.

Thankfully, my brother figured out what was going on before the got him. At that point, he began swinging his arms like windmilld, bashing the poor snakes' heads on the driveway. Once he had then sufficiently knocked silly, he set them down and, erm, well took care of things properly for all of our healths.

My brother made a hat band and rearview mirror rattle hangers out of the remains, of course.

Ah, farm life. No other place are you likely to see a man windmill snakes to death on a driveway.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05 September 2010, 02:25 PM
Wild Redhead's Avatar
Wild Redhead Wild Redhead is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,784
Default

I lived in rattlesnake country too. I have 13 rattles. One of the snakes actually chased my ex-Moron's son. If you are hearing a rattle you pretty much have to plan on killing the snake. The fun part is you can't really shoot them as you have to worry about the bullet/shot ricocheting off of the ground/rock. It can get a bit...exciting, dealing with a rattlesnake that close to you.

I was out scouting with my ex-MORON just before hunting season (he wasn't an ex at that time) and I heard a rattle. He didn't hear it. I told him I was sure there was a rattlesnake very close by. He insisted there wasn't as he couldn't hear it. I started looking around and about a foot from where he was standing a rattler was coming out of it's hole. He couldn't hear it as the end with the rattle was still under ground. After that he listened to me when I said I heard something.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24 August 2010, 12:13 PM
franjava's Avatar
franjava franjava is offline
 
Join Date: 23 August 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,130
Icon27

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: I have heard that touching a rattlesnakes rattle and then
touching your eyes can make you go blind. Is this true? I can't find much
at all on this, but my husband has heard of it too.
Salmonella? Reptiles and amphibians are notorious for carrying that unfriendly bacteria. Can salmonella even cause blindness? That's all I can think of. The idea of touching a rattle then touching your eyes and it causing blindness would mess up the taxidermy and souvenir industries. Having these so close to your eyes could be dangerous!!!1! (Frankly, I think they're ugly, but whatever.)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
15 ft. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Jenn Fauxtography 0 16 December 2009 05:59 PM
Effects of a rattlesnake bite JoeBentley Fauxtography 11 26 January 2009 08:00 PM
Headless rattlesnake sends man to hospital snopes Critter Country 6 21 August 2007 01:13 PM
Cave blindness snopes Science 6 28 May 2007 10:03 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.