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What is herpetophobia?
It’s the fear of reptiles.
Most often people are frightened of snakes, but lizards are commony the runner-up in the fear category.
Herpetophobia for some may consist of fear that includes all reptiles, as such, this ranges from crocodiles (which may be intimidating to even the most avid of reptile appeciators), all the way to turtles.
Yes, some people are afraid of those cute, sweethearts in shells… or so I read. I’ve not met anyone who said they were frightened by turtles, but I suppose they’re out there. Some people never realized or thought about a turtle as being a reptile, like a lizard or a snake. Yet, turtles are an order of reptile known as Testudines.
The majority of people with herpetophobia have fear not of being within the close proximity to reptiles, but panick when coming into contact with one.
I am happy to announce that one such person, whom I witnessed being frozen in fear when I placed an angel of a lizard in her lap around 10 years ago, is now one of Lil’ Murph’s caretakers when I should travel!!
How great is that?! She cuddles with him, attempts to feed him (You who know Murph know he is finicky & stubborn, often eating well for only one of his big brothers & me), she walks with him outside, and even babytalks to him!! …In some cases, people certainly can change, can’t they?!
If herpetophobia is a fear in your life that you want to kick (and you must truly want it), do read on for tips that may help with this – without counseling and all that jazz.
This is possible helful tip #1 toward overcoming herpetophobia: If you’re scared of reptiles, but like turtles, think on this: Lizards and turtles are kinda, sorta cousins. Would you touch a turtle’s shell? Could you caress a cute little turtle hand or flipper? Well, it won’t feel too much different than a lizard’s tiny hand. They have a similar (in a way), beautiful, and protective skin – perfect in design.
A reptile’s skin is different than ours, so, it seems strange, but their skin serves the same purpose for them as ours for us, and it truly is beautiful, if you will behold it. Try to look closely at the way scales overlap and change where the body changes. There’s no way these creatures were evolutionary byproducts or accidents, the creative perfection is obvious when you look for it. They are meant to be here & they make their Earth more complete. We shall enjoy it together.
Really neat & informative material about lizard scales and what is beneath them: https://www.britannica.com/animal/lizard/Scales-and-colour-change
Know also, that lizards have no desire to bite you. It’s possible to be bitten by any creature, but generally a lizard would be prone to do so only if it has been tormented, or neglected & thus does not trust humans, or is being captured and is stressed.
Iguanas can whip with their tails, but trust me, those welts heal quickly. Not a big deal, they’re just telling you, “Back off!” Green Iguanas are a common pet. They grow to around 5 feet (1.52 m.) long. They are awesome companions if you have space & financial comfort to supply the enclosure, care, & space they deserve! They are highly intelligent & full of personality!! They may or may not use those whipping tails, so it is best to keep them away from babies. Iguanas & other large lizards apparently appreciate some personal space sometimes.
Lizards, like every creature on Earth want to live, freely & safely. And, once they experience friendship, they really like that too. They are not dumb animals. They know when they have a family or favorite people that love them! See, you are some amount of the way to lessening some fear through thought altering!
Possible helpful tip #2: Do lizards and snakes equally creep you out? What if I told you that snakes are just long lizards that have lost they’re tiny limbs? They can’t help it. Or, what if I said lizards are just itsy bitsy dragons that have lost their wings? Of course this isn’t so, but it’s one way to perceive them.
Lizards and snakes are highly observant of their surroundings. They are also self-preserving. You would be too if you lived with nature more often. So, notice how much they seem to just watch & think. Do not be angered if instinct possesses them for a moment, & they bite or whip.
Snakes in particular, have gotten a bad rap throughout history. Yet also, for eons, they have been a symbol of knowledge, healing, destruction, & more. Why is that? Think of the Ceduceus, a medicinal image we all may have seen. Why are there snakes around a staff? Ponder a moment the serpent in Genesis – does he or she represent something, a symbol, wisdom, a devil incarnate, or something else? Think also of the deities within Eastern beliefs – Shiva has a snake. Why? Symbols are intended to conceal or reveal. The Egyptians, in beautiful, ancient art, are seen with snakes. Snakes have been inhabitants on Earth with us for a long time. We can be friends. Can’t we all just get along?
To add to that, snakes only bite humans in self-preservation. A snake is either traveling, dining on prey ( :’-( ), shedding, or is coiled while sleeping or resting, attacking ONLY when it feels threatened. Dogs are often more dangerous than that.
Sure, a Python could drop from a tree in the jungle knocking you down, to wrap itself around you to squeeze the life out of you faster than you know what to do, but really, what are the odds? All you have to do, without killing it, is move it around to prevent it from gaining a grip! Easy peasy!? 🙂 *Requires upper body strength & strategy.
Possible helpful tip #3: ‘Follow’ us to learn how neat lizards are, how special each and every one of them is, and how loved they are (or should be) by their families. By following us, you’ll be seeing a lot of Lil’ Murph & get to know who he is. You might just fall in love!
Other things you can do to kick herpetophobia:
- Visit a pet store. When they’re not very busy (respectfully), ask an attendant if they can take a snake, lizard, or turtle out of the cage so that you may pet it & observe it.
- Find a local rescue organization. Visit with the reptiles there. You may hear the terrible stories of how many reptiles got there. Maybe you will be saddened by the way they were treated in life, and want to help them. Compassion, feeling a connection with a being, can be a powerful fear killer.
- Watch the videos below.
To help you with Lizards:
To help you with snakes:
There are many more videos that people have made. It was not easy selecting videos to share. Just type “Cute Lizards” or “Cute Snakes”. They are indeed, ridiculously adorable!
They are all so beautiful! We hope you enjoy and help these beautiful, and such dismissed creatures with whom we share this world, whenever you can. The vast majority of people do not know what reptiles experience. They are suffering, dying, and being murdered before survivors make it into pet stores. If you choose to love & care for a reptile, there’s something you need to know: Please, please watch this video, if you can, and visit our post If We Love Animals, We Must Not Support The People Behind The Animal Mills:
If you have a heart, this is going to hurt you, but not nearly as much as it hurts them. Please have the strength to know what is really going on. Watch the video. I did, and – I love lizards, very, very much. If I can do it – with tears streaming down my face, a snotty nose, and a broken heart, you can do it too.
*As always, it is my hope all videos watched will recieve the ‘likes’, ‘comments’, or ‘follows’ the editors deserve. Lizard photos above, who are not Murph, are courtesy of pexels.com
Please visit our homepage @ lizardplanet.com and tap that menu icon for tips on caring for lizards. Visit the contact page if you need advice regarding lizard care, or need assistance with adopting a homeless lizard to love (names & e-mails are never shared). We humbly accept Paypal donations there to aid in Murph’s care, first & foremost, & to help us to pay for this website. Sharing us on social media may help us too. And of course, you can bounce around in the archives for more Murph! Thank you for being with us here.
“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renée