One California anthropologist set out to find if natural enemies, such as the snake, affect our vision.
That research provides us with scientific proof why we're wired to take off when we spot a snake.
"It makes sense, honestly. If you think back to our most primal urges, the main thing is to stay alive, right? So we want to be able to focus on those things that may harm us," said Tennessee Aquarium herpetologist, Courtney Lewis.
Herpetologist Courtney Lewis agrees with recent findings that snakes play an important role in our eyesight. The University of California study suggests there must be an explanation why our depth perception and ability to see colors are necessary.
They discovered humans and certain primates are able to sense danger with their eyes, even before the brain is able to react. This gives scientific proof why many Americans are terrified of snakes, whether they are venomous or not.
"I'm very afraid of snakes. Even this one here, even though there's a trusted adult and it's a safe environment, I'm not going to touch him," said one aquarium-goer, Heather Wingate.
However, the snake and reptile exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium proves to be a popular spot for children. Surprisingly, very few said they were afraid of snakes and majority of them had no problem petting the aquarium's ball python, named Amber.
Lewis says teaching children about venomous snakes at a young age will hopefully change their perception of them.
"The best thing to do now is learn what sort of snakes are in your area, and know which are venomous. In Tennessee, most of ours are not venomous. If you know the ones that are, you don't have to worry so much about the ones that are not."
There are only four types of venomous snakes in our area, all belonging to the pit vipers family. The four species are copperhead, western copperhead, timber rattlesnake, and wester pygmy rattlesnake.
By: Kelsey Bagwell