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Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes. It is sometimes called by a more general term, herpetophobia, fear of reptiles and/or amphibians. The word comes from the Greek words "ophis" (ὄφις) which refers to snake, and "phobia" (φοβία) meaning fear.[1]

Care must also be taken to differentiate people who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom or the inherent danger involved. An ophidiophobe not only fears them when in live contact but also dreads to think about them or even see them in video or still pictures.[2]

About a third of adult humans are ophidiophobic, making this the most common reported phobia.[3] Scientists have theorized that mammals may have an innate reaction to snakes, which was vital for their survival as it allowed such dangerous threats to be identified immediately.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fear of Snakes Phobia – Ophidiophobia". FearOf. 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  2. ^ Murrie, Matthew & Steven. The First Book of Seconds. Adams Media, 2010. p.11.
  3. ^ Lynne Isbell, "The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent - Why We See So Well" (Harvard University Press, 2009)
  4. ^ "Fear of Snakes, Spiders Rooted in Evolution, Study Finds".