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Why do we fear snakes and spiders ?

Posted on Wednesday, 20 June, 2012 | Comment icon 92 comments | News tip by: msmike1


Image credit: CC 2.5 Leofleck

 
Humans are believed to have evolved the innate ability to both sense and fear spiders and snakes.

Many people have an excessive fear of snakes or large spiders, even though most will have never encountered them in person. Contrary to this being an irrational fear, such phobias appear to be part of our evolution - early man would have developed the ability to quickly identify and to avoid such creatures for the purpose of self preservation.

"The idea is that throughout evolutionary history, humans that learned quickly to fear snakes would have been at an advantage to survive and reproduce," said Vanessa LoBue. "Humans who detected the presence of snakes very quickly would have been more likely to pass on their genes."

"Fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias, yet many people have never seen a snake in person."

  View: Full article

 Source: Live Science


  Discuss: View comments (92)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #83 Posted by UFO_Monster on 27 June, 2012, 2:39
You know, I've chilled with a copperhead before. I gave him his space; about 25 feet. I was mowing my lawn, and he just rested in the shade of several trees, watching me. My point: I'm not deathly terrified of snakes. Do they give me the willies? Yes, but only if I am within a very close proximity to them. Wild snakes, like any other wild animal need to be respected. It's the same for me with insects, which also strike fear into the hearts of certain people. I'm not afraid of it. If I don't provoke it or emit any negative feelings, I'll be fine.
Comment icon #84 Posted by Sakari on 27 June, 2012, 2:51
Without snakes, rats and rodents would run wild..... Without Spiders, flies, and other creepy crawilies would run wild in your bed!
Comment icon #85 Posted by TattooMommy28 on 2 July, 2012, 2:25
I dont mind snakes but I hate an f*ing spider! If it has more than four legs I dont care for it. Unless its a butterfly..do they have legs??
Comment icon #86 Posted by Junior Chubb on 2 July, 2012, 11:46
I dont mind snakes but I hate an f*ing spider! If it has more than four legs I dont care for it. Unless its a butterfly..do they have legs?? I recommend Google for that one
Comment icon #87 Posted by Tx-Perkyness on 13 July, 2012, 17:52
I don't think its actually fear of a snake, spider, roach or any other creepy crawler, ...wait there its is "creepy crawler" its not always just fear that drives us away from them but rather their distinctive qualities of going about their buisness in a creepy manner. Yes there are some who are deathly scared of them ...but most aren't really scared of them until they seem to notice it/them coming towards them. Like many have said through the ages, "most of the the time their completely harmless till you do something stupid"
Comment icon #88 Posted by DebRena on 14 July, 2012, 7:17
Phobia's are not passed through the genes. That is absurd. I think the common misconception that people associate with the fear of snakes, is that they learned from some bible thumping moron that snakes were evil and were some form of the devil. I am sure that past generations of people learned to stay away from snakes after a few people that they knew died after being bitten by one. I think it is more of a case of having common sense than anything else. As for the fear of spiders, or any other bug for that matter, I sometimes wonder if it is because of the fact that when we die, bugs eat us a... [More]
Comment icon #89 Posted by DebRena on 14 July, 2012, 7:18
Phobia's are not passed through the genes. That is absurd. I think the common misconception that people associate with the fear of snakes, is that they learned from some bible thumping moron that snakes were evil and were some form of the devil. I am sure that past generations of people learned to stay away from snakes after a few people that they knew died after being bitten by one. I think it is more of a case of having common sense than anything else. As for the fear of spiders, or any other bug for that matter, I sometimes wonder if it is because of the fact that when we die, bugs eat us a... [More]
Comment icon #90 Posted by PrintingRay on 16 July, 2012, 19:12
Snakes are aggressive speices and very quick but by nature its not human friendly and can't be faithful like a dog and other animals if you like to have them as pets. If you keep snake as a pet then its likely to say thay he will eat your small parrots or even your dog. Even he can bite you without any reason. I am not afraid fo snakes as I see many in the fields nearby my home but I try to kill them not because I hate them but to protect myself.
Comment icon #91 Posted by Super-Fly on 16 July, 2012, 19:19
Self Preservation? I Personally dont mind snakes reptiles etc, but iv never been in a position where its a deadly snake and me manno a manno LMAO. but you get the idea.
Comment icon #92 Posted by Sakari on 16 July, 2012, 22:59
Snakes are aggressive speices and very quick but by nature its not human friendly and can't be faithful like a dog and other animals if you like to have them as pets. If you keep snake as a pet then its likely to say thay he will eat your small parrots or even your dog. Even he can bite you without any reason. I am not afraid fo snakes as I see many in the fields nearby my home but I try to kill them not because I hate them but to protect myself. protect yourself? My God, maybe we should all take up your ideas... People are very dangerous things, they kill many living things, many.....( uhm, s... [More]


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