Adventures in History · The man who was bitten by the head of the snake he killed

In China, 8 years ago, a chef thought he had killed the snake he had decapitated, but ended up surprised

Isabela Barreiros, under the supervision of Thiago Lincolins Published on 08/26/2021, at 2:28 pm – Updated at 2:29 pm

In southern China, there are extravagant restaurants that serve soups made with meat from a very different species of snake that is considered a rare delicacy. Preparing this meal, however, turned out to be a nightmare for a chef in Foshan City in August 2014.

Eight years ago, as reported by O Globo newspaper with information from the British newspaper Daily Telegraph, the cook Peng Fan I was working on the special soup that featured the meat of the Indochinese spittoon species, or naja siamensis, with a scientific name Hemachatus haemachatus.

He cut off the snake’s head and prepared the rest of the meal with the meat from the animal’s remaining body. With the plate almost done, he decided to throw the skull he had cut off in the trash. However, the chef ended up being surprised — negatively.

It is a fact that the snake species is known to have a potent venom capable of causing suffocation and paralysis. In addition, the animal, commonly found in Southeast Asia, can also cause blindness if the liquid comes into contact with the victim’s eyes.

In case of fan, the reptile’s blow was so sudden that there was no time for any reaction. He was trying to prepare a beautiful and delicious dinner at the Lin Sun restaurant, but ended up being the victim of a very unusual tragedy.

It took 20 minutes to make the soup while the head waited to be discarded. The snake, however, was not dead, and when the cook took the carcass to throw it away, he ended up getting his hand bitten and filled with the animal’s venom.

According to the expert, Yang Hong-chang, who studied snakes for over 40 years and was heard by the Daily Mail, reactions have been seen in reptiles within an hour of losing limbs or even the entire body.

The researcher stated that “it is entirely possible that the snake remained alive and bit Peng’s hand.”

“When a snake loses its head it will be effectively dead when the basic body functions cease, but there will still be some reflex. This means that it has the ability to bite and inject venom, even after the head has been cut off,” he explained.

Although the animal’s behavior can be predicted, the situation at the restaurant turned into a great tragedy with the chef’s death. Lin Sun, who was in the establishment when the case happened, also reported the experience to the newspaper.

“We were in the restaurant having a meal for my wife’s birthday when all of a sudden there was a lot of commotion,” he said. “We didn’t know what was going on, but we heard screams coming from the kitchen.”

“There were calls for a doctor at the restaurant, but unfortunately when medical care arrived, the man had already died,” he continued. “After we found out about that, we didn’t continue with our meal.”

According to a police spokesman, who informed the population about the episode at the time, he said that cases like that are “highly common”. “Mr. fan had a very severe reaction to the bite,” he said.

The official said: “There was nothing that could be done to save the man. Only the anti-venom could have helped, but it was not given in time. He prepared the snake himself and had no luck. It was just a tragic accident. “