Deadly Snow Snakes in Ohio and Pennsylvania-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
This is a forwarded email and posting on Facebook and other social media alleging that a deadly snow snake comes out in the cold and bites people. The venom from this dangerous serpent is said to cause the victim’s blood to freeze.
This eRumor is a hoax. There is no such thing as a snow snake, snake venom is incapable of freezing blood and snakes do not come out in the winter.
Snakes are cold blooded reptiles that rely on the elements and their habitat to regulated their body temperature. According to information found on the website of the LLL Reptile and Supply Company, when the temperatures drop in the winter, snakes go into a state of brumation, which is similar to hibernation among certain mammals in the wild. During brumation the snake becomes “lethargic, sometimes not moving at all for the duration of the cold season.” The brumation period usually lasts until Spring.
The TruthOrFiction.Com Team believe that the snake in the photo is a toy snake made of rubber. We found rubber snakes similar to the one in the eRumor posted on the website of the Akron Novelty Company
Screen shot from the Akron Novelty Company Website
As for the snake venom that freezes blood, this is also a hoax.
There are two basic categories of venoms from retiles, neurotoxins and hemotoxins. Neurotoxins, common in cobras, mamba and coral snakes attack the nervous system and paralyzes the respiratory center. Hemotoxins are found in the venom of vipers like rattlesnake, copperheads and water moccasins. The word “hemotoxin” means blood toxin, which causes death of tissue and prevents the blood from clotting – necrosis and anticoagulation. The effects of a hemotoxin venom would be incapable of freezing blood. This according to information posted on the website of the University of Bristol – School of Chemistry. The School of Chemistry also said that one species, the Mojave Rattle Snake is one of the few snakes that has both types of toxins in its venom.