You won’t BELIEVE how many people are afraid of snakes! Even the word “snake” can send shivers down the spines of some people. Take a look at these fear of snakes statistics and see if you have anything in common with those who are afraid of snakes!
Whether or not you’re among those who are feared of snakes, we’ve put together some interesting statistics about this common phobia. We’ll take a comprehensive look at the fear of snakes—we’re going to get into some statistics, talk about what’s causing that fear, where people are most afraid of them, and how prevalent they really are in certain areas.
We hope you’ll find them as fascinating and surprising as we did!
Top Fear of Snakes Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- Around a third of all human adults are afraid of snakes.
- Merely 2% to 3% of people who are afraid of snakes actually have ophidiophobia.
- 30% of Australians fear snakes, making them the most feared animal on the continent.
- 21% of Americans perceive snakes as the most frightening animals.
- People can be diagnosed with ophidiophobia if their fear lasts at least six months.
- More than 90% of people can recover from ophidiophobia if they get proper treatment.
- Seven-month-old babies aren’t scared at all when they see pictures of snakes.
- Snakes earned 4.34 out of 5 points on a study’s fear scale.
General Fear of Snakes Statistics
1. Nearly one-third of the world’s population is afraid of snakes.
It is estimated that 33% of the world’s population is terrified of snakes, making ophidiophobia the second most common phobia in the world. The only phobia that is more frequent is a fear of spiders (arachnophobia), which affects approximately 395 million people worldwide.
For some people, snakes and spiders are two very separate things to be terrified of. For others, though… well, it’s hard to tell where one fear ends and another begins!
While some are afraid that they’ll be bitten by a snake, others can’t look at them even in pictures or on the TV. People who live in areas with many snakes cope with fear by limiting outdoor activities, and ophidiophobia may not impact those who don’t.
2. 46% of French survey respondents see snakes as the most frightening animals.
Statista’s survey of 1,059 French respondents points out that snakes frighten them the most. More precisely, 46% of survey respondents reported being afraid of snakes, while 29% fear sharks, the second most frightening animal.
Although there are many more dangerous animals, ophidiophobia facts indicate that people probably fear snakes because they are more likely to stumble upon them.
3. Only 2% to 3% of people who are afraid of snakes may have ophidiophobia.
Fear of snakes is ubiquitous because we’ve all been taught that snakes are dangerous. Nevertheless, not all those who are scared of snakes have ophidiophobia. Having a chronic and intense fear that’s difficult to manage, panic attacks, and facing difficulties on a daily basis due to fear indicates that a person has ophidiophobia.
4. According to a Swedish survey, snake or spider phobias were reported by roughly 12% of women.
(Science Direct, Parenting Science)
Fear of snakes stats based on a survey indicate that women are more afraid of animals like snakes and spiders than men. For instance, 12% of female survey respondents are afraid of snakes, compared to only 3% of men. That’s probably because ancestral females were under greater pressure to avoid snakes and spiders since they encountered them more often.
5. We detect snakes considerably faster than other stimuli as snakes are potential evolutionary threats.
(APA, BMC Psychiatry)
According to research, we naturally detect snakes faster than other stimuli. Therefore, developing a fear of snakes is thought to be rapid and resistant to extinction. That said, it’s been speculated that preparedness to acquire fear of evolutionary threats is hardwired into the neural pathways of our brains. That’s why the fear of snakes is relatively justified.
6. 30% of Australians are afraid of snakes, making them the most feared animal on the continent.
As ophidiophobia statistics point out, the scariest animal for Australians is a snake. However, it’s not surprising that snakes are feared so much in Australia, as it’s full of them. Still, we have to consider that most snakes in this continent aren’t venomous.
Spiders are the second most feared animal in Australia but only 17% of survey respondents see them as the most frightening.
7. Brown snakes are among the most feared snake species in Australia.
Fear of snakes stats reveal that Australians see brown snakes as the most frightening. That’s reasonable, as they have an intimidating defensive display where they lift the front half of their bodies and are adapted to suburban life. Moreover, some species of brown snakes have a very toxic venom that immobilizes their victims.
8. 21% of Americans see snakes as the most frightening animals.
Statista’s report indicates that snakes are the most frightening animals to most Americans. Namely, 21% of survey respondents stated that they fear snakes the most. However, alligators and sharks aren’t far behind.
9. Out of all the things that Americans are afraid of, snakes are number one!
They’ll strike when you least expect it (or, more accurately, when you’re walking around your yard in the summer), and they move faster than you’d think. Plus, snakes have this nasty habit of showing up in places where you definitely don’t want them to be. Like your house. Or your car. Or your bed.
In general, we have good reason to be a little afraid of snakes: they can get pretty big, and some of them are venomous. But the vast majority of snakes in the U.S. aren’t venomous, and none of them are very interested in harming humans unless we directly threaten them first or mess with their eggs (which should go without saying).
That said, while they’re not out to get us, humans, they do pose a risk—about 8,000 people in the U.S. are bitten by venomous snakes every year, mostly by rattlesnakes and copperheads—so it’s better to be a little cautious around these slithery creatures than it is to be totally fearless!
10. Seniors are more afraid of snakes than young people by a significant margin.
Snakes are dangerous, and the older you get, the scarier they become. 79% of people over 65 are scared of snakes, compared to 61% of people under 30.
For many senior citizens, being afraid of snakes is a constant battle. They are struggling to protect themselves when they see a snake outside in the garden or on their porch. Many seniors also have to deal with snakes that have made their way inside their homes through cracks in their walls or under doors. It’s not just the fear of being bitten by a snake that worries seniors; it’s also the possibility that they won’t be able to get away from it fast enough to prevent themselves from getting bitten.
11. 36% of American survey respondents aren’t afraid of snakes.
YouGov’s 2014 survey points out that not everyone is afraid of snakes. In fact, 36% of respondents said that they’re not really scared of them or don’t fear them at all. On the contrary, 32% said they’re terrified of snakes, while 32% reported being a little afraid.
Ophidiophobia Statistics Regarding Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
12. People can be diagnosed with ophidiophobia if their fear lasts longer than six months.
Ophidiophobia is a chronic fear and it can be diagnosed only if a person has been struggling for at least six months. Some other symptoms of ophidiophobia are having difficulties behaving normally at work, in school, or in other social situations, along with unreasonable anxiety.
13. More than 90% of people can successfully recover from ophidiophobia if they get proper treatment.
There’s no specific ophidiophobia treatment, but those who need help can try various options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, meditation practices, mindfulness techniques, or physical activity like exercise. Also, it’s wise to take medication along with talk therapy in some cases.
14. One exposure to snakes (even an indirect one) and other similar threats can be enough for fear acquisition.
(BMC Psychiatry, Science Direct)
Although it’s true that only one encounter with a snake can trigger an intense fear of snakes, it’s proven that those who don’t know much about snakes tend to be afraid much more. Therefore, it’s advised to learn as much about snakes as possible if you struggle with ophidiophobia. It’s also good to be exposed to snakes in a controlled environment.
15. Exposure to snakes increases the heart rate of those who have ophidiophobia.
Exposure is one of the most impactful ophidiophobia causes. Also, exposure to snakes or seeing them in pictures or videos increases a sufferer’s heart rate. Apart from that, they can feel dizzy or lightheaded, might tremble, sweat, or have difficulty breathing. These symptoms worsen if a snake gets closer.
Relevant Statistics That Show Why People Fear Snakes
16. Snakes were responsible for 100,000 deaths in 2018.
A high percentage of people with severe ophidiophobia fear snakes because they see them as lethal creatures and connect them to pain and death. While it’s true that 100,000 people died because of snakes in 2018, mosquitoes are far more dangerous.
Also, an interesting fact is that those responsible for 430,000 human deaths were humans.
17. Black mamba’s venom kills most of its human victims.
Even though black mambas are quick, venomous, and large, there have been no recorded unprovoked attacks on humans, and they are responsible for a small number of deaths per year. In other words, there’s no need to fear snakes only because they’re lethal, as the chance of running into such snakes is very small.
18. King cobra’s venom can kill an elephant in only a few hours.
Fear of snakes statistics such as this one might shock us and worsen our fears. The king cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake. Death also results in at least 50% to 60% of cases that are left untreated. Still, these snakes aren’t aggressive and won’t attack unless provoked.
19. In India, roughly five million snakebites occur every year.
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), approximately five million snakebites occur in India every year, leading to up to 2.7 million envenomings. Reports also suggest that 81,000 to 138,000 deaths occur annually.
It’s important to note that many snakebites go unreported because victims either don’t seek treatment in medical institutions or don’t have access to health care.
20. In most cases, a person bitten by a snake needs to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours.
There are several reasons why people need to be monitored after a snake bite. For instance, patients need to be monitored because antivenom has potential side effects. Also, children typically recover faster than adults (25% of adults need one to nine months to recover).
Other Interesting Stats About Ophidiophobia You Should Know
21. Those who have more experience with snakes demonstrate lower fear.
As we’ve mentioned in the previous statistic, exposure to snakes and bad experiences with them doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop ophidiophobia. Many snake experts have been bitten by snakes many times and aren’t afraid of them. That means that it’s possible to “unlearn” the fear of snakes.
22. Seven-month-old babies and older toddlers aren’t frightened when they see pictures of snakes.
(Fatherly, Parenting Science)
One of the fascinating facts about ophidiophobia for kids is that some studies suggest that we might not be born with the fear of snakes and similar beings. Babies are actually born fearless and start developing fears when they start crawling. This could mean that fear of snakes isn’t inborn.
23. Snakes earned 4.34 out of 5 points on a study’s fear scale.
Charles University in the Czech Republic and the National Institute of Mental Health conducted research to see how much people fear certain animals. While people are primarily afraid of snakes and spiders, they’re more disgusted by parasites.
Related Questions (FAQ)
What percent of the world is scared of snakes?
Opheliophobia affects one-third of adult humans, and it’s one of the most common phobias. People have different triggers for this irrational fear. For instance, some dread when they see snakes in pictures or videos, while others fear they might get bitten by one and get envenomed.
How common is a fear of snakes?
Ophidiophobia is very common because snakes are usually depicted as threatening, dangerous, and evil. In addition, fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias in the world. Also, people with ophidiophobia can have similar phobias, such as fear of reptiles and fear of frogs.
Why is fear of snakes so common?
According to a study based on years of psychological experiments, fear of snakes arises from a perceptual bias, as humans recognize snakes faster than other objects. People are also afraid of non-venomous snakes and kill them just because they are in the vicinity. There’s also evidence that humans have a genetic predisposition to quickly learn to fear snakes at a young age.
What causes the fear of snakes?
Some things that can instigate an irrational fear of snakes are negative experiences with snakes in the past, genetics, and learned behavior. For example, a very unpleasant experience with snakes as a child can trigger ophidiophobia.
It’s also possible to acquire fear if someone close to you feels very uneasy around snakes. Lastly, some people genetically have a higher tendency to develop phobias.
Is it normal to be scared of snakes?
It’s entirely normal to be scared of unfamiliar animals. Also, there are many myths about snakes that make them even more horrific in the eyes of those who have ophidiophobia. This problem can be solved by acquiring more knowledge about snakes. Getting familiar with snakes and getting in contact with them may help people overcome their fears.
How to overcome the fear of snakes?
While there’s no treatment for specific phobias, people can try various other methods to cope with the fear of snakes. For example, people can try talk therapies like exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Also, fear of snakes statistics and facts point out that medication (beta-blockers and sedatives) can be used along with talk therapy.
Thank you so much for hanging with us through all of these snakey statistics. We hope they didn’t give you the heebie-jeebies too bad and that we helped prove our point: Fear of snakes is a widespread and common phobia, but it’s not something you have to live with forever.
If you or someone you know suffers from ophidiophobia, make sure to learn more about treatment options and how you can work through it!