Cobra's Severed Head Bites, Kills Chef
Snake kept functioning after decapitation
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 25, 2014 10:33 AM CDT
A screen shot from Daily Mail video of the snake.   (Daily Mail video)

(Newser) – A chef killed a snake—but the snake had enough time to kill him back. Chef Peng Fan, of Guangdong Province in China, cut off the head of a spitting cobra as he prepared to dice its body for a soup, the Daily Mail reports. But 20 minutes later, as Peng was tossing the head in the trash, the head was still functioning. That's when the venomous creature bit the chef, who died before anti-venom could be provided. "We ... could hear screams coming from the kitchen," says one restaurant guest.

The bite results in paralysis and asphyxiation, the Daily Mirror notes. "It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng's hand," says an expert, adding that reptiles can usually function for up to an hour, even after being decapitated. "By the time a snake has lost its head, it’s effectively dead as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action. It means snakes have the capability of biting and injecting venom even after the head has been severed." (Earlier this summer, a woman had a painful mass removed ... 50 years after a viper bit her.)

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Showing 3 of 74 comments
Sep 4, 2014 9:53 PM CDT
Wow this story has all the elements of a macabre short story. Cobra exacts revenge, even as a reflexive action of a dying reptilian brain stem. The stare of a reared, hissing spitting cobra is enough to make anyone do the moonwalk at high speed. The only thing scarier to me is a king cobra. (Shudder)
spike flea
Sep 1, 2014 10:12 AM CDT
LOL, what a waste of a quasi-third world country China is.
Aug 31, 2014 5:39 PM CDT
A chinese restaurant got closed town in my town for serving cat meat.