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Why aren't babies afraid of snakes?

The emotion of fear is essential for humans to survive. So why is it that babies have no fear of snakes?

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


Presenter: The emotion of fear is a vital survival mechanism, designed to protect our body's inner balance, a first line of defence against potential threats, even before they’ve struck. The strange thing is, we aren't born with it. For the first few months of our lives, we're quite literally fearless. Our ability to identify things that can threaten our survival is something we learn from those around us. That's why some of our fears are rational ...:

Woman 1: I'm terrified of sharks.

Woman 2: Very quick-moving rodents.

Teenage girl: I'm really, really scared of spiders.

Presenter: ... but others are not:

Girl: Monsters.

Boy 1: Vampires.

Teenage boy: Giant squids.

Boy 2: /dɔk/. Very, very big /dɔk/. (It is not clear whether he is saying 'dark', 'duck' or 'dog'.)

Presenter: You're scared of the dark or a duck?

Boy 2: A duck.

Presenter: A duck?!

Boy 2: (laughs)




Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Of course Yes..!! I have no problem that my little boy touches one

Realy I hate snakes.

noway! I am also scared from snaks.

I love snakes so much, but I would let my baby touch a snake only in case I have been ensured that it is not poisonous

No, I also hate snake.

If I know the snake isn't poisonous

The question has been put in the right way: We assume that the baby won't be alone!

To answer the question above, I could let my baby touch a snake only if I've been ensured that that snake isn't dangerous and doesn't bite, and if a professional stay next to me.

No ..
I love it .

Well, I guess I would do it only if the snake is not poisonous. I think kids need to experience the most in their early age. That's a convenient way to stimulate their brain and learning skills.

Hi Carlos,

I strongly agree with you. And apparently, as the video shows us, the bounderies beetwen dangerous and harmless things have to be set from an early age.