Amphibians / Reptiles Living In One's Digestive Tract: UL? Possible?

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Anonymous

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Reading the thread "Who was the first person to drink cow's milk?" in General Forteana, which discusses food discoveries and various tolerances and likes/dislikes for foods, put me in mind of stories surrounding the subject title:

Reports of snakes found alive and apparently thriving in the stomachs of their hosts have a long history, but little apparent veracity judging from what is known of the temperature/acidity conditions of the stomach itself.
Are these reports simply an Urban Legend, one based perhaps on genuine human parasites found in the countries from which these tales often originate? Or are there any true instances in which a snake (having entered the stomach of a sleeping person, as is the convention) - living or dead - has been proven?

In the first of the links below, the 'snake' turned out to be a toothbrush - a discovery that prompts consideration as to what other equally improbable objects might be ingested without knowledge or remembrance?

murrasaca.com/serpientenglish.htm
Link is dead. The MIA webpage (with images) can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150623020417/http://www.murrasaca.com/serpientenglish.htm

onkar.s5.com/reptile.html
Link is dead. See later post for the content from the MIA webpage.

newts.org/~newtsweek/html/prodigious_vomiting.html
Link is dead. The MIA webpage simply contained the text from a Fortean Times article in FT 119 (February 1999). The salvaged text of that article is provided in a later post within this thread.


:blah:
 
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FelixAntonius

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There was a case reported from North America, about ten years ago, of a girl swiming in a lake & taking a deep gulp of water!

Later, she complained of abdominal discomfort & a small snake was found when she was x-rayed. The snake was later removed by an operation, reportedly (at least in some accounts) still alive.

The hospital staff & her family, were reported to have tried to keep the truth from the patient, but her school friends began to call her: "the snake girl".

The Japanese, are also reported to eat some types of eel &/or fish alive & they are claimed to live for a time in the diners stomach before being killed by the digestive juices.:blah:
 
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Anonymous

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This old chestnut is indeed quite moldy.I heard variations on this story as a little boy 40 years ago.The version most often heard in Indiana then had it that she had swallowed a clutch of"snake eggs"while swimming.It's amazing how many people believed this,mostly because most of them grew up hating snakes so badly they werewilling to believe any negative thing about them.I was lucky enough to have a deep love and interest in nature to actually try to learn about them.My parents and most of my relatives all possessed this irrational hatred of them.
 
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This draws parrallels to the regurgitator stories from September's FT. Does anyone know roughly how long say a goldfish could survive in someone's stomach?
Presumably the stomach acids would be pretty harsh and there wouldn't be much chance of the gills taking in oxygen.
 

Yithian

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David said:
There was a case reported from North America, about ten years ago, of a girl swiming in a lake & taking a deep gulp of water! Later, she complained of abdominal discomfort & a small snake was found when she was x-rayed.

For this tale see FT30:43 (1983) & FT175:80.

:)
 

agentbuffy

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I know I'm not making this up, but somebody else may have done.

I have a very vivid memory of being told about a girl (possibly in Argentina or Brazil) who had a snake living in her intestines. I think it was a constrictor of some sort, and it got there when she ate some snake eggs which subsequently hatched. This must have been around about the late '70's/early '80's, because the memory I associate it with most is (oddly enough) being in the kiddie pool at my local baths, and I learned to swim properly when I was about 7.

I know this smacks totally of an UL (eggs hatching in stomach, both girl and snake surviving), but I had a quick look on Snopes and couldn't see anything. Anybody have a clue at all?
 
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I do remember the English, 'Sun' tabloid newspaper, a few years back, running a story about an Indian woman who had a live snake removed from her stomach. I think the story originally came from 'Reuters'.

However, the 'Sun' is an unscrupulous piece of work, not even suitable for wiping bottoms as the ink rubs off, and I suspect that the original story was used as filler on a quiet night on the news feed, and picked up by the 'Sun' to find out just how gullible its readership is. A subject of vital importance to the 'Sun' considering the huge amounts of cock and bollox it regularily requires its readership to swallow.
 

agentbuffy

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The dear old Currant Bun

Ah, yes - that may explain a lot. Looking back, I seem to recall that it was being talked about as quite a big story, but that could be total fabrication/exaggeration on the part of a young impressionable boy who was always fascinated by horrible things happening to other people!

I'm no biologist, but I simply cannot see how the story as I represented it could have come about. Perhaps it could have been put about as a "don't eat that, you'll end up with snakes in your guts" cautionary tale.
 

Jerry_B

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There are various versions of this tale, none which are true IIRC.
 

agentbuffy

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Thank you very much

That has cleared that up for me. I assumed it had to be apocryphal, and indeed that seems to be the case. I thought this correlation was interesting from the Snopes article:

This motif remains popular in films such as Alien, which features a crew member "impregnated" by an alien creature

I'd never really thought of it like that - I'll never look at John Hurt in the same light again ;)
 

Imperial_Call

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dunno about a snake living in someone's intestines, but the closest I can recall was a young girl/woman in India or Russia who fainted while working out in the fields, and a snake crawled out of her mouth ...
 

Jerry_B

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There are various versions on a theme. Similar to the Indian one LO mentions above, another tale described how the snake was lured out with a bowl of milk. So not only are we led to beilve that snakes somehow live and breathe inside a human host, they also like milk... ;)
 

agentbuffy

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You say that like there's something wrong with milk. Or living in someones innards ... oh, wait - that is a bit wrong. I must stop doing it.
 

OneWingedBird

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and picked up by the 'Sun' to find out just how gullible its readership is.

I can remember The Sun running the 'pencils up the nostrils exam suicide' UL as a factual story.
 

Jerry_B

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AndroMan said:
I do remember the English, 'Sun' tabloid newspaper, a few years back, running a story about an Indian woman who had a live snake removed from her stomach. I think the story originally came from 'Reuters'.

In all fairness, FT has also reported such stories - it's even in one of the FT books.
 

agentbuffy

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Indeed yes - nothing should be taken as 100% false (or indeed 100% true) just because the source may be seen as a little, how shall I put it, liberal with the truth - that Sender Theory bobbins from FT 186 (I think) for example :rolleyes: .

Equally, I'm sure places like post-glasnost/pereistroika Pravda has come up with some genuine stories, and maybe even the Weekly World News. I always liked the bit in Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones (J, or is it K?) picks up the supermarket tabloids as true reference material.

You never know, perhaps it's true. I think so - Bat Boy told me ;).

**edit to clean up syntax - it's too early!**
 

Jerry_B

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Well, I think there are some things (this tale included) which you can write off as bogus ;)
 

jarmaniac

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How would it breathe? Or eat? Or survive being immersed in gastric acid?

Reptiles are pretty resilient, but all the same...
 

James_H

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It's supposed to be one of the nastier powers of voodoo workers - to be able to make snakes grow inside people's intestines or bloodstream. For that reason, one is not supposed to eat food at a magician's house: in case they have put magic snake eggs in it!
 

agentbuffy

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"Magic snake eggs", eh? Is that what the "dudes" are calling them on the "street" nowadays ;).

Gosh darnit, I should get out more.
 

James_H

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whatever I say is probably what the dudes on the street are quoting the next day, so yeah ;)
 

agentbuffy

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Cool! Faggus, the Peoples Prophet (tm).

And no, officer, I have no idea how these magic snake eggs came to be in the pocket of my parka. Now, can I interest you in some tapioca ...
 

Jerry_B

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Jarmaniac said:
How would it breathe? Or eat? Or survive being immersed in gastric acid?

Yep, all very good reasons for doubting these tales ;)
 
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Maybe someone mistook an ascaris roundworm for a snake.

The ascaris roundworm, which infects humans, wanders between the intestine and other organs. They've been known to exit from the mouth, nose and rear, and are frequently more than 12 inches long. One of the larval stages, known as L4, can tolerate stomach acid.

More info: http://martin.parasitology.mcgill.ca/jimspage/biol/ascaris.htm
 

agentbuffy

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Interesting! I'd never thought about that. That does seem to me to be a fairly plausible origin for the original story. Tape worms are after all fairly common, and I remember seeing a TV programme sometime last year about parasites, where some gonk deliberately infected himself with a tapeworm to see how big it would get. When he finally knocked it on the head and "removed" it via the natural method, the thing was metres long :eek!!!!:.

Could easily see how something like that could get blown into full on "snake-in-guts" hysteria.
 
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All I know is it's going to be a while before I'll be able to look at a bowl of noodles. :cross eye
 

Jerry_B

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Hmm - I think people from where these stories supposedly originate from would be very familiar with such worms, from when they come out of livestock (for example), etc..
 

RainyOcean

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I wonder if the woman who gave birth to the human like frog kept it and loved it just like she would one of her human children?:D
 
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