September 03, 2020

Could a snake really crawl into your mouth?

Could a snake really crawl into your mouth?
Dr. Chris Brown

It’s a story that naturally has everyone talking (and gagging). But did a 4 foot snake really slither down this Russian woman’s throat while she slept? Here’s what I think happened...

It’s hard not to think you’d never sleep again if you lived in this part of Russia. In fact, local folklore warns people that if they fall asleep outside, there’s every chance a snake will slither down their throats too.

But after hearing this story, something didn’t sit right. While it’s normal snake behaviour to slither into small, warm spaces, actually pushing down past the epiglottis and down the oesophagus ISN’T and would surely prompt a strong gagging reaction that would wake you up. So I’m convinced something else has happened here. This isn’t a snake, this is a stomach (and intestinal) parasite called an Ascarid roundworm. In fact, our own puppies and kittens commonly get a worm from the same family and even vomit them up. So rather than worrying about the location they’re sleeping, locating some Combantrin might be just as successful.

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