It’s hard to tell whether a snake has a poisonous bite or not and the scary part is you’d only get to find out once it has bitten you.
Farmers may have known this for years because jeans are part of the standard attire when working in the fields, especially in places where the grass and brush is thick, and it’s in this places where you’d most likely find a snake. So besides being able to stand the wear and tear of farm work, the tough and heavy cloth of jeans provide some protection from snake bites.
This has been confirmed by scientists in California as reported in Reuters:
Drs. Shelton S. Herbert and William K. Hayes used latex gloves filled with saline to simulate a human appendage, then exposed the gloves to bites from small and large southern Pacific rattlesnakes. Some of the latex “limbs” were covered in a layer of denim.
The researchers found that compared with the jeans-less gloves, those covered in denim absorbed about two-thirds less venom from the rattlesnake bites. Instead, a high proportion of the venom “spilled harmlessly” onto the denim, the researchers report in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Now those who are feeling a bit more adventurous now better hold for a second before strutting your tight-fitting skinny jeans and heading out into the bush. You’d get more protection from loose-fitting, baggy jeans because they provide more space between your legs and the snake as compared to a pair of jeans that highlight your, ehem, assets.
But the problem now is, you’d be hard pressed to find baggy jeans as the skinny ones are the type in fashion. Perhaps mom or dad has kept some of their old pair in the closet?
Another thing I wonder about is, if jeans provide a layer of protection from snake bites, how come most wildlife shows still wear the khaki jeans or shorts?