On September 26th, 1957, herpetologist Karl Schmidt became the first human on record to die after being bitten by a boomslang snake. His colleagues in the scientific community were shocked, as prior to Schmidt's death, boomslang snakes were thought to be harmless. Wihin 24 hours of being bitten, Schmidt died in his home of respiratory arrest and severe brain hemorrhaging.
The venom of a boomslang snake is a hemotoxin, meaning it destroys red blood cells, loosens blood clotting and causes organ and tissue degeneration. Anyone unlucky enough to be bitten by this non-agressive tree snake native to Africa will eventually suffer muscle and brain hemorrhage. Blood seeps from gums and nostrils and mixes with fecal matter, urine, saliva and vomit until the victim dies.
Learn more in this blog post at Scientific American. Via Science Chamber of Horrors.
Image Credit: William Warby/Wikimedia
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