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Author Topic: Cotton rope = no snakes?
snopes
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Comment: A family member living in Texas told us that if you take cotton
rope and lay it around the perimeter of your property that the snakes
won't cross it. Is this true?

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Barns & No Bull
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Is this true?

Yes. D'Agostino & Tunlin (1971) performed an experiment using common cotton rope (23 meter diameter) and found that it effectively prevented all 11 species of snakes they used from moving past the rope which was placed on Kentucky 'bluegrass'. A similar experiment has not been conducted yet in Texas. A little research can shed a lot of light on a question.

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Chimera
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What??? an ordinary cotton rope??? Have these people ever owned snakes? I'd even question a 23 metre diameter rope as snakes are great climbers. In my townhouse I kept free roaming snakes... They went up stairs (alone or in pairs) over the neighbours dog (ok, I'm thinking "log, log, log" but one snake did try to climb, or perhaps was trying to eat a dog when I had them out in the court yard). A four or five foot snake could easily reach and climb on the stair case railing (that started about 3 feet from the ground). The could go across cotton fiber carpet and climb into bookcases (even the smallest snakes could get to the top shelfs). I had a bookcase in front of a heat vent and it was almost always where lost snakes were found... I called them my book worms. Snakes aren't too inteligent but they are good at getting past obsticles.

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Wizard of Yendor
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Seem to me that (if this works) it must be a mental thing. Maybe it looks like another snake to them?
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Chimera
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quote:
Originally posted by Wizard of Yendor:
Seem to me that (if this works) it must be a mental thing. Maybe it looks like another snake to them?

I don't know if I buy that explaination (unless the rope was painted like a predatory snake). Snakes eat other snakes. When I worked at a science centre we had an indigo snake eat a black snake. It seemed to go down real easy.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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What, is today suddenly the calendrical equivalent of April Fool's Day?

My daddy taught me that it was a horsehair rope that you ring around your sleeping bag, to keep rattlers away. That almost makes sense, as a horsehair rope is very prickly -- about as prickly as a bottle-brush or toilet-brush. However, snakes do *not* have tender tummies -- I've watched rattlers darting at good speed over broken granite -- and so I doubt they would be deterred by even the prickliest rope. A cotton rope is smooth and comfortable to the (human) grip, and so this variety of the myth doesn't even have that much justification.

Silas

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