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."
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Source: Live Science
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