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maggiewinchester Report 23 Oct 2017 23:39

A new study has discovered that a fear of snakes and spiders is (probably) hereditary - it's in your DNA! :-D :-D

Over the last few decades there has been much debate between scientists about whether these phobias are innate or are learned during childhood.

They've discovered that babies at only six months old (long before they have had a chance to learn about the dangers of spiders and snakes) show signs of stress when they see these creatures.
More here if you want to read it:

Do you have what could describes as a phobia of spiders or snakes - and did your parents?


Allan Report 24 Oct 2017 06:54

I have an absolute phobia of snakes. Spiders on the other hand don't bother me (I certainly don't bother them)

Mind you, living in Australia, where deadly species of all types exist, I have no wish to be attacked by a drop-bear :-0

I believe that my mother may have been attacked by a drop-bear when she was expecting me......strange really as she never visited Australia until 1971 when I was 23.

I suppose that, like spiders, drop-bears can be found everywhere :-D :-D


Guinevere Report 24 Oct 2017 07:13

I read an article ages ago and I was convinced.

Here's a shorter version -


maggiewinchester Report 24 Oct 2017 08:09

Guinevere - very good article! :-)
It would also explain some people's behaviour :-(

Allan, if I lived in Australia, I would make sure I knew the dangerous spiders - purely for survival reasons.
Ummmm - are drop-bears real? :-S


RolloTheRed Report 24 Oct 2017 08:46

Iceland Ireland New Zealand Hawaii etc no snakes so do any of the human population have an iƱnate fear of snakes all the same?
My granny and my mother always had a negative attitude towards snakes and spiders. Not shared by my father and siblings. I find snakes beautiful and spiders fascinating.
India and many Asian countries have numerous snakes, spiders, lizards etc living in and near homes. The people living there are unfazed.
Huffington Post is full of drivel.


Dermot Report 24 Oct 2017 09:11

Maybe that devious demon cold slithering snake in the Garden of Eden got our fears into gear.

The little devil!


maggiewinchester Report 24 Oct 2017 09:42

Interesting that one side of your family are scared of them the other aren't - could it be the DNA theory?

Your comment about the inhabitants of Asian countries being 'unfazed' by snakes, is a bit of a sweeping statement, don't you think? I mean - everyone?
...and could this be the result of DNA?

I'm sorry the Huffington Post isn't your reading preference - but it's an update. There was a similar report in the Telegraph a few years ago, and if you read Guinevere's link - that was from the BBC, so I'm not sure what you mean by 'Huffington Post is full of drivel'.


SheilaWestWilts Report 24 Oct 2017 09:55

In as far as it manifests itself in this country, I have a snake phobia. I believe snake and spider phobias are part inherited (perhaps originally from our primate ancestors) and part learned. A couple of months ago, a tiny baby grass snake got itself into our hall (possibly via the dog's extra furry coat) - enough to send me screeching up the stairs although it was tiny and, I admit, beautiful. I am thrilled that we have them in the garden, but petrified of seeing one nonetheless :-D :-D


maggiewinchester Report 24 Oct 2017 10:16

Wow! to have them breeding in your garden is an honour! <3 you'll have to identify it! :-D :-D


'Emma' Report 24 Oct 2017 12:17

My OH has a fear of snakes, I find them fascinating.

On the other hand I have a fear of balloons....go figure :-)


Allan Report 24 Oct 2017 12:40

Maggie, you don't have to know which Australian spiders are dangerous, they all are.

As for drop-bears, why do you think that Aussies wear big hats in Summer?


RolloTheRed Report 24 Oct 2017 14:03

A lot of Australian snakes are venomous but not all by a long way. Many of the venomous ones are not lethal to humans. Only a handful are aggressive and then only when cornered. Offered an escape they will skink off.

My niece lives nr Brisbane and in several years in Oz has yet to see a snake away from Fernberg Road, Paddington, Brisbane.
She is neutral about snakes generally but with small kids such items, sharks and crocodiles do affect their leisure decisions.

Indian cities are full of wild life up to and including leopards. People really don't give much thought to the dangers posed being far more focussed on real problems such as mad driving, violent crime and disease.

The most dangerous wild creature for human beings is the mosquito.


maggiewinchester Report 24 Oct 2017 15:31

My nephew runs a pet shop in Canberra. He, his wife, three children and dog don't have a problem with either snakes or spiders - mainly because they sell them :-D
My nephew is also called on to remove 'invasive' spiders and snakes from people's houses.

I wouldn't say, In India 'people don't give much thought to dangers posed by creatures such as leopards'
A wee bit of a sweeping statement, methinks, that probably needs some proof.
Also, leopards aren't snakes or spiders - neither are mosquitos..


Bob Report 25 Oct 2017 19:22

The creature that kills most humans is other humans.


Kay???? Report 25 Oct 2017 21:12

My little baby brothers was learned,,,,,,,as I used to scare him with tops off the tomatoes and tell him they were spiders and leave them on the arm of a chair for him to find,,,,,,boy he could scream.......... :-D :-D :-D :-D.and he still doesnt like spiders.


maggiewinchester Report 25 Oct 2017 21:17

Oooh Kay!!!

...and I thought my elder siblings weren't very nice! ;-)


Kay???? Report 25 Oct 2017 22:10

:-D :-D :-D :-D.I know real cruel.

mum was not best pleased,,,,but he was ok as she used to love him better........ :-D ;-


maggiewinchester Report 25 Oct 2017 23:13

I thought my elder brothers were nice - they used to build go-carts - yes , more than one, dad was in the services so every time we moved the go-cart was left, new one was built.

Every time, they finished one, they would let me go on, then my elder sister (also younger than the boys), always down the steepest hill they could find, and tell us to use the brake. We thought they were very generous.

It was quite a few years later (okay, many years later) before I realised they were using us to test the brakes!!
ie. if they stopped with me - possibly ok. Stopped with my sister - probably ok.
....then they would try it....

Finally confessed at my 60th birthday party!!!!
A practical lesson in physics :-S


RolloTheRed Report 26 Oct 2017 08:50

There are over one million human deaths per year down to mosquito bites mainly in third world countries. No other wild creature is anywhere near. Humans Bob are not usually regarded as wild. The oft quoted idea that man is his own worst enemy assumes warfare as the prime cause. Not at all the primary human threat is the 1.3 million annual road fatalities Again a very disproportionate share in the third world

So as I said the residents of India and other third world states have more serious problems than snakes and creepy crawlies such as venomous spuders

Of course snakes make good media. There is little to see of interest in an insect bite. Move along.


supercrutch Report 26 Oct 2017 11:59

There is a great deal of interest in insect bites or has the Zika virus been forgotten already?

My sister loathed snakes and that stopped her from visiting her son in Australia. She wasn't phased by spiders as she gardened all her life.

None of my 3 brothers were bothered by either but I, on the other hand, am terrified of spiders.

Both my daughters hate spiders but my son isn't bothered by anything (I guess because he lives with all the beasties that live in the jungle. Having said that about my daughters, eldest now copes with huge spiders as she lives with her brother lolol

I think that if you HAVE to cope because you will come across spiders and/or snakes on a regular basis you learn to cope better.

Just my opinion of course.