Look, snakes scare us. Period. The reason for this is a deep seated primal one. Back when we were still primates running up trees and the like, snakes were our natural enemy. So, it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that snakes, as a whole, terrify humans.
But, 37-year-old Tim Friede spits in the face of reptilian danger. The Wisconsin native has about 160 self-inflicted snake bites in 16 years! One can only imagine the pain this guy must have put himself through. An amateur scientist, he doesn’t let snakes bite him because of some misguided form of bravado, but a deep sense of empathy. He aims to build up his natural immunization against the venom which will eventually help scientists figure out a way to use it to develop a vaccine.
To understand the kind of risks Friede’s taken, you can check out the video below to actually see what snake venom does to your blood.
(WARNING: This video is not for the squeamish)
So determined is he in his pursuit of this vaccine that his wife of 20 years has actually left him! Talk about dedication!
He has also recently been bitten by a taipan and a black mamba, two of the world’s most venomous snakes, back-to-back. Yes, you read that right. He was bitten by both snakes, one after the other and he survived without so much as a scratch and more than few fang marks. Balls of steel, this guy!
He says that the bites don’t hurt but they sure leave a mark!
It’s not all rosy though. Back in 2011, Freide subjected himself to two cobra bites that nearly left him comatose! He says that the first one was ok, but the second one put him in a coma for a while. Well, what did you expect, son?
Freide is doing a great service by trying to develop an effective vaccine against snake venom.