Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is the abnormal fear of snakes. It is sometimes called herpetophobia, which is a fear of reptiles or amphibians. The word comes from the Greek words "ophis" (ὄφις) meaning snake, and "phobia" (φοβία) meaning fear.
This is a phobia, so it does not include people who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom. A person with ophidiophobia (called an ophidiophobe) not only fears them when in live contact, but is scared to think about them or even see them in video or still pictures.
About a third of adult humans are ophidiophobic, making this the most common reported phobia. Scientists think that mammals may have an innate fear of snakes. This was vital for their survival as it allowed such dangerous threats to be identified immediately.
References[change | change source]
- "Fear of Snakes Phobia – Ophidiophobia". FearOf. 2016-08-22. Archived from the original on 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- Murrie, Matthew & Steven. The First Book of Seconds[permanent dead link]. F+W Media, 2010. p.11.
- Lynne Isbell, "The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent - Why We See So Well" (Harvard University Press, 2009)
- "Fear of Snakes, Spiders Rooted in Evolution, Study Finds". news.nationalgeographic.com.