Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Boa constrictors don't kill you in the way you thought say scientists

anaconda.jpg

Snakes. Satan's henchmen. Slithery, sly, silent killers that have occupied a dank, evil slot in human culture since time immemorial.

Yet it transpires that they're more sinister buggers than we first thought. 

A new study on constrictor snakes - boas, pythons, anything that kills its prey with a deathly hug - reveals that the prey isn't killed by suffocation, nor by cutting off blood flow, but by "over-pressurising the brain and disrupting neural function".

Yep. They squeeze your brain to death. 

Three biologists from the University of Louisiana studied the constricting skills of two species of giant pythons. They noticed that large-bodied pythons possessed a crushing pressure greater than the blood pressure of their victims - a skill that prevents blood flow (the heart literally can't pump against the pressure exerted by the snake), but also sees the brain over-pressurised, resulting in neural functions controlling all vital organs seizing up.

"We propose the latter “red-out effect” as another possible mechanism of prey death from constriction," reads the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. "These effects may be important to recognize and treat properly in rare cases when constrictors injure humans."

So should you ever find yourself in the scaly embrace of a python, you'll now be correctly informed that you're not suffocating to death - it's your pressurised brain that's going to kill you.

[Via: Discover Magazine]

Related

12.jpg

This is what it feels like to die

2.jpg

Science Might Have Just Found A Cure For Baldness

password.jpg

This is the key to the perfect password (and it's easy to remember)

h-MUSCLES-960x540.jpg

This is why your workout isn’t actually making you stronger

rexfeatures_2499998a.jpg

Bacon Just As Bad For You As Smoking And Could Soon Come With Warnings

1.jpg

A real-life Death Star has been found and it can destroy planets

Comments

More

The Daily Mail have finally lost the plot with their latest front page

We should ban Google apparently

by Dave Fawbert
24 Mar 2017

Charlton Athletic unveil touching tribute to PC Keith Palmer

Police officer killed in London attack was a keen football fan

by Dave Fawbert
23 Mar 2017

This retired racehorse has absolutely zero chill

"Woah Shamrock"

by Matt Tate
22 Mar 2017

This Monopoly board show how much it actually costs to live in London

Oh well, renting forever

by Gary Ogden
22 Mar 2017

This 'new catnip' will get your cat off its tits

Thanks science

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

Everyone is mad about Mary Berry's pie

No soggy bottoms here

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

Spare a thought for the Cadbury social media manager

Guess what? The internet is wrong again

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

This fossil has been named after David Attenborough

As birthday presents go, that's a pretty good one

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

Stephen Hawking is going into space

Astro-Hawk takes flight

by Gary Ogden
21 Mar 2017

The average date costs £129, apparently

Where are these people going?

by Emily Reynolds
20 Mar 2017