Human blood vs Snake venom
Human Blood vs Snake Venom

Today, I am going to takeeight vials of my own blood and add to that blood, venom from three of themost potent pit vipers here in the United States.

We have a medic that is goingto stick me with a needle and draw out these eight vials of blood. And right now I'm feeling very very nervous and a little squeamish and I might pass out during this process. Okay, here we go. Giving my blood for science. (yelling) (energetic music) Today, we are at theReptile Discovery Center located in Deland, Florida.

This serpentarium is home to several of the world's most dangerous snakes. And earlier today, I assisted in milking thevenom of three pit vipers that are frequently encountered in the Eastern United States. The Copperhead. Wow, that was fantastic. The Water Moccasin. Gonna go mouth down, okay. And the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.

Whoa! That was a seriousvenom yield right there. Normally this venom is sent to their medtoxin venom laboratory where it is turned intolife-saving antivenom. But today, we're goingto perform an experiment unlike anything you have ever seen. Okay, crew is all set up. (sighs) All right guys, so today's experiment isgoing to show us what happens when snake venom mixestogether with human blood. I've always been curious what happens when a snake bites you and that venom entersinto the bloodstream.

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So today, what we're gonna do is take eight vials of my blood, we're gonna create a control, and then we're going to mixvenom into three different vials and show you exactly what happens. I know, it seems like Coyote,get to the point already. I'm only prolonging this because I'm so squeamish around needles.

You guys have no idea hownervous I am right now. I could take bullet ant stings, I can take bites fromgiant desert centipedes, when it comes to stickinga needle into my arm, nothing makes my skincrawl more than that. We've got a medic on set with us and she is going tosafely draw out my blood.

I need you to justkeep your arm very still. - Very still. Don't jerk it back. And if you feel like you're gonna pass out, tell me. - Okay. If you get lightheaded or you start to feel really hot. - Okay. I'm already hot, I'msweating bullets right now. Like more nervous than Iwas for ants, centipedes, like (grunts) worst day ever. Well even hotterthan you are right now. - Okay, yup.

Okay are you ready? - Yes, I can be ready. Find a happy place, find a happy place. Is this considered a lotof blood for one sitting? This is an okay amount. It's certainly not gonna harm you. - Okay. I'm gonna put the GoProdown at what this is to see what's happening. I can't look with myown eyes, I can't bear.

I can't feel my arm. Like, should I be doinganything with my arm? No. (breathing) Okay, you ready? - For what? I'm gonna take out the needle. (yelling) Are you ready? - Is it out? No.

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Yeah, I'm ready. (yelling) Oh my gosh, is it gonnalike squirt blood if you, oh my God, look at allthose tubes of blood. Holy mackerel. But what we're going to do now is head down the hallway, meet up with Carl, and move to step two of this experiment. Holy cow, look at allof these vials of blood. That is so much Coyote that is spilled out in the name of science. Okay Carl, I am back witheight vials of my blood.

Now we're only gonna needfour for this experiment so I'll put these otherfour over here as a backup. And we've got the entireexperiment set up. We've got three vials that contain Copperhead, Water Moccasin, and Eastern Diamondback venom. Eventually that blood is goingto trickle down this board that we've created. But before we get there, let's talk about these venom's and why they're so potentially dangerous. - Okay, so Coyote, allthree of these snakes cause you to bleed, cause you to hemorrhage, and hemorrhaging is dangerousfor a host of reasons. Your blood doesn't clot, you're losing bloodfrom your blood vessels, your blood corpusclesare being broken apart, your red blood cells are being liced, they're not carryingoxygen to your tissues. They all cause you to hemorrhage. They do it a little differently.

The mechanisms that workdo it a little differently, but they all cause that significant bleedingcoagulopathy problem. - Okay, man that is complex, but sounds very painful at the same time. Obviously a lot of pain is experienced with a bite from any oneof these snake species. Okay, so I'm definitely goingto put on my safety goggles for this part. I am going to open up thisvial and expose the venom. Now, I have this one labeled Copperhead, and you'll see, I alsohave a blunt tipped needle. The reason for that is if this was sharp and I were to accidentally prick myself, that's just like a snake fang. What you don't want todo is envenomate yourself while working with venom. So, I'm gonna just, oh man, makes your hand nervous just to pick up and holdwhat that is right there.

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That is some very potent venom. Now, Carl I'm gonna need your assistance. If you can just tilt that a tiny bit until I'm able to get some venom. I think that's enough. - Yep. - That's probably more than afull snake bite right there. - No question. - Okay, so there is our Copperhead venom. Woo, one down. Our next one is going tobe the Water Moccasin. Wow, look at that venom yield. - Gives you a sense of howdangerous Cottonmouths can be and part of that equation again is yield. That's three snakes ofcourse, but even still. Here we go. Ooh, that is a toxiclittle mix right there. Oh, got a little drip coming. Okay, I'll just put that there. And now we are going to bring up the most potent of them all, the Eastern Diamondback. Woo, this is the big oneright here, all right. There we go. And that right there would be enough venom tokill you, wouldn't it? - Probably. - Okay, so we've got our threesyringes of venom lined up.

Okay, so the first one, our green is going to be the Copperhead. Okay. There we go. Dangerous little tube right there. Okay, moving on to the Water Moccasin labeled yellow, caution WaterMoccasins can be deadly. Definitely not a snake youever want to trifle with in the wild. Admire these guys froma very safe distance. Okay, there we go. That is moccasin venomgoing into my blood. And last but certainly not least, will be the EasternDiamondback Rattlesnake.

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Okay, it's still a very verydangerous syringe right there. There's still some venom residue. Okay, here we go. That is Eastern DiamondbackVenom going into my blood. Okay, well let's take 15 minutes. We will return and stepthree of this experiment will tell us exactly what happens from a visual perspective when you add snake venom to human blood. But I know a lot of youout there have said before, Coyote, you've been bittenand stung by so many things, get bitten by a venomous snake.

.Now Carl, I want to openup this conversation to you to say to everybody out there watching how crazy is that notion ofintentionally being bitten by a venomous snake. And just so we're clear guys, I'm never going tointentionally take on a bite, like something from a Copperhead or Water Moccasin or Rattlesnake. And tell us why this is so damaging. - Because insect stings and snake bites are very different things. And so insect venom's to a large degree evolved to cause pain and basically what they're trying to do is get you away from perhaps their nest or something of that nature.

Snake venom's evolvedto immobilize and kill the food that they eat. And so snake venom's are destructive on a whole host of different levels. So you've got blood chemistry problems, you've got neurological issues happening, you've got cardiac issues happening, a depolarization of themuscle cells in your heart, you've got maybe all of these things, nephrotoxicity, miotoxicity, cytotoxicity, cardiotoxicity,neurotoxicity.

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A snake bite can be very dangerous event. In fact, it can be a lethal event and on a cellular level it's catastrophic. It's nothing to be fooledwith or taken lightly. There's no question about that. - Okay, it has been roughly 15 minutes that the venom has beenpercolating inside of my blood. And that was the big moment, what I'm curious about, what I know you guysare all curious about, what exactly happened to myblood with that venom inside. So the first thing that we're gonna do is put on my safety glasses.

Always important to have on safety glasses when you're doing science experiments. So we've got another blunt tipped needle, that is the control. That's the blood that's in here and when I hold it up and look at it, yep that's still looks super liquidy. So what we're going to do is pull blood from each one of these vials and I'm gonna make a little streak just like that on the topof this plexiglass board, we're going to see what happens. Does it run down? Does it turn into jelly? We don't know, right? - It'll be interesting.

I guess we'll see. And I'm just going to try to make a nice little streak across here just like that. (yelling) What! That is some coagulationright there, isn't it Carl? - Can see that coagulation,yep, that's great. - Well, that looks like azombie film right there. So Carl tell us what happened 'cause there was no venom in there yet you got these chunks of blood that just looked like theyvomited themselves down this plexiglass plate. - When you expose blood to oxygen, it's gonna begin to clot. - Right. - And so that's what we're seeing there.

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And that's healthy blood then. - Absolutely. - Healthy blood exposed tooxygen is going to coagulate. So for the most partlooks like I'm healthy. So, now we're moving on to the Copperhead. That is our green vial here. And I'm just gonna give that a tilt left and right. Now like you were saying, Carl, that anticoagulant makes this look like it's a whole lot, - Very hard to say ifwe're gonna see anything to the naked eye, but I assure you what's goingon in that tube right now, cellularly, is as we talkedabout earlier, catastrophic. - Okay.

So let's see if we can seeanything with the naked eye. - Here we go, Copperhead blood coming up. Wow, look at all those bubbles. I did not really see that on the control. Okay, here we go. Oh, wow, look at that. It's just dripping right out of it. I'm not even applying anypressure yet and look at that, it's just dripping rightout of the syringe. - Whoa, look at that. - Boy, it's certainly to the naked eye looks like it's less coagulationgoing on there, right? I mean to the naked eye, I mean that just ran down to where now, I saw a couple of littlemicro maybe clots in there, but to the naked eye, I don't know about what you saw, but anyway, interesting.

That was blood runningdown that incredibly fast. I mean just the pace at which it slid down and off the plexiglass, you can see that a lot of the blood here is still not streaking. This was, yeah. Look, you can almost see themore watery consistency of it. So that's the blood cells breaking down and not being able to hold onto each other - Again to the naked eye, that's what it would look like. - Again guys, we can't stress enough how the internal aspectsof what's happening on a micro level, that if we had a superpowerful microscope, we'd be able to see are happening. I mean, this is just explosions of blood cells and everything breaking down apart inside. - All those little cellwalls are being effected. - Okay, here we go. Water Moccasin.

You can see there. the blood definitelylooks very thin as well. Again, a whole cocktailof proteins and toxins that are just turning thisblood into who knows what. I get it, oh wow. So that's having troubleactually sucking the blood up into there. - See a little moreclotting in this sample.

There we go, okay. And my glasses are fogging up. I'm gonna do my bestto keep my hand steady, but even interacting with venom and blood definitely gets your heartrate going that's for sure. That is my blood mixed togetherwith water moccasin venom. And again, you can see that that blood just wants to come outof the tip of the needle without me applying any pressure. It's just dripping out on its own.

So I'm going to very slowly apply a little bit of pressure. There we go, wow, look at that. - Now there's certainly someclots visible in that sample. - Oh yeah. - More so than the Copperhead venom. - Yeah, that is true. Look at that, you canjust still see all that.

It looks like a worm going down to the side of the plexiglass. - But certainly the Copperhead venom appeared thinner thanthe Cottonmouth venom in relationship to the control. Tough to say, but maybe we're seeing some anticoagulant activity there, maybe. - Okay, so here we go. I've got the Eastern Diamondbackvenom in my blood there. Top coming back off. There we go. Syringe going in, again guys, flat tipped needles, even if I were to prick myselfwith a needle with venom, that is just like suffering envenomation.

Oh yeah, look at that. Look how thin that blood is. That pulls up way easier than the Copperhead or the Moccasin. Wow, look how waterythat is, that's crazy. What does human blood looklike once it's been envenomated with Eastern DiamondbackRattlesnake venom? Here we go, one, two, three, oh there is a little bitof coagulation there.

Whoa, look at that. - Some significant clotting and remember on this, Coyote, Eastern Diamondback venom, we think there are both anticoagulant and pro-coagulant activity happening. But that's interesting. - Okay, well there we have it between the control, the Copperhead, the Moccasin and the EasternDiamondback Rattlesnake, visually across the board, it looks like there's quitea bit of difference, right? Even with the control, I don't see any speckling in the blood as compared to these three. But from your expert perspective, Carl, what is it that we're really seeing here? I mean, it looks like a horror film, but it's tough to tell with the naked eye.

Yeah. So Coyote, I think we need to point out that this experiment is areally crude experiment. You know, what we're seeing, we're kind of speculating a little bit and based a little bit on what we know about these given snake venom's, but this really needs tobe done under a microscope in a really controlled setting where we don't have thistime difference going on and we're not sure that theamount of venom being used is exact to get a real sense of this. But I think it's safe to say that what's happening here, whether or not we cansee it with the naked eye is serious and catastrophicdamage on a cellular level.

And I think for everybodyout there watching, not only did I hear you saythat we need to do this again, which means there will bea sequel to this video, but that the big takeaway is the pit vipers in the United States have the potential to be very dangerous.

This is not a species you would ever want tointeract with in the wild. And for everybody out there that's asked, Coyote, will you getbitten by a venomous snake? The answer is no.

You guys can see that thisis again catastrophic. If you're bitten by one of these snakes, it is a medical emergency and with all of our content, we want to encourage theviewers to admire these animals from a safe distance. Don't try to kill them. Don't try to catch them. Don't ever experiment with yourself to see what would happen if you tangled with these things.

No question. I think that's an excellent synopsis. And hey man, are you gonna clean this up? - I will, yes. I will clean up all of the mess that I have made here in the lab. But for everybody out there watching who's wanted to see what would happen if Coyote Peterson wasbitten by a venomous snake, there ya have it guys, myblood tangling with venom. I'm Coyote Peterson. Be brave, stay wild. We'll see ya on the next adventure. Every year around the world, people are bitten by venomous snakes.

And it's probably accurate to say that each and every one ofthese bites happens by accident. Some species like the Copperheadare likely to kill you, but a full on envenomationfrom a Eastern Diamondback is certain to take your life without the administration of antivenom. Carl and Mora perform thousandsof milkings every year, risking their own lives just in case you were unfortunately bitten by one of these slithering reptiles.

Yet that doesn't mean youshould be afraid of snakes. Almost all bites come as a result of humans trying to move, harass, or kill one of these animals. The best course of action is to always respect snakesfrom a safe distance, ensuring that you do not havea catastrophic interaction.

If you would like tolearn more about snakes and the power of their venom, make sure to visit the ReptileDiscovery Center's website, where you can schedule asnake milking demonstration. Hey Coyote pack, if you thought milking some of North America's mostdeadly snakes was intense, make sure to go back and watch the episode where we milked Australia'smost toxic snakes.

Thank you visit us again. This was our fully experiment story with my friend. Hope you like it.

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