Traditionally, avoiding snake bites has been about as simple as leaving snakes alone. If you have refrain from poking, kicking, or involving the snakes in religious rituals, there’s a good chance you’ll go unharmed. Unfortunately, however, there is one snake out there that will mess you up for doing next to nothing. A new study has shown that in a surprisingly high number of cases, the venomous mulga snake of Australia has actually bitten people in their sleep.
The study examined 27 instances of people getting bit by the mulga snake. In ten of those instances, the victims were not provoking the snake at all, and in 7 of those 10 cases, the victim was fast asleep. “[It] is noteworthy since it represents 70 percent of identified cases involving bites without intentional contact, and suggests that bites sustained during sleep may be more common than previously reported,” researchers said. Knowing that snakes really only bite when they are threatened or hunting animals way smaller than humans, researchers remain confused as to why these sleep bitings are happening.
The mulga snake’s range in Australia. (Wikipedia)
Luckily the mulga snake’s bite is not usually fatal to humans, making all this only slightly less scary. The venom, however, can still cause vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, none of which would be fun to wake up with. So you all you Australian Nerdist readers out there – good luck getting to sleep tonight!