Crazy Indian Man Gets High By Letting Cobra Bite His Tongue

That’s one way to get high. An elderly Indian farmer uses his snake charming skills to coerce cobras into biting him on the tongue in an effort to get high as a kite. Ram Rakha of India has gathered a following that reverently refers to him as the “poison man” thanks to his bizarre ritual, one that often causes him to become completely unconscious.

This video shows Rakha holding a wildly dangerous cobra in a wicker basket while sticking his tongue out and jamming out to a frenetic tune. An eager audience cheers him on as the snake lunges twice, missing entirely. A quick cut reveals Rakha opening wide for the cobra, who latches on to his tongue for several seconds – much to the delight of onlookers.

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When the snake finally releases its grip, the 68-year-old stumbles and nearly falls, shaking his head around in a daze. A gout of blood, already coagulating due to the snake venom, drips to the ground as Rakha twitches, apparently riding out the high. The video then shows Rakha ceremoniously releasing the cobra back into the wild.

The entire experience looks excruciating, but Rakha doesn’t seem to mind. “I feel no pain. I am not scared at all. I bleed for a few seconds and I’m a bit drowsy but then I’m fine. I enjoy doing this,” he told Daily Mail

In fact, Rakha claims that his tolerance to the cobra’s deadly venom has drastically improved his life. “It’s given me status in the area. I believe I’m blessed by God and I can take the poison without any effects,” the farmer said.

Rakha has performs his daring stunt every year for the last decade at the Tejaji Fair, which is held in the village of Surili in Rajasthan. The celebration features a large number of traditional snake rituals that help people from surrounding areas treat snake bites, but Rakha is the only person who actively seeks them out.

Getting high off of snake venom is certainly possible, if not advisable by anyone with a degree of concern for safety. Many snakes use a venom that will not get you high at all; instead, it might start to shut down your bodily functions or interfere with your heartbeat, leading to death. Cobra venom is a neurotoxin that blocks nerve transmissions from certain muscles. 

If this occurs in the respiratory system, the result is usually fatal, but other parts of the body will experience a paralysis sensation similar to what many synthetic drugs cause. Rakha has likely determined how much cobra venom his body can tolerate without shutting down his vital functions – a dangerous gambit, surely, but one that would grow easier thanks to his body developing a resistance to the poison.

In fact, one man claims to have developed a complete immunity to snake venom by allowing himself to get bitten dozens of times. Tim Friede is an extreme practitioner of what is called venom immunotherapy, which sees patients get injected with venoms that they are frequently exposed to in order to reduce the risk of an unexpected adverse reaction. The 45-year-old was able to withstand the bite of a black mamba, whose venom is so deadly that an untreated bite essentially has a 100% death rate.

Building up a resistance to venom might be the next big thing for people who want to get high in exotic ways. An elderly man in Pakistan claims to have started a craze for scorpion venom in his community, which he ingests by burning a scorpion tail and inhaling the fumes. Bees can also get you high, but in a different way: the buzzy little creatures can convert the pollen and nectar from certain plants into a psychoactive honey.

Then there are toads, particularly the cane toad, who secrete a certain chemical that is notorious for causing hallucinations when sniffed or consumed. Some types of salamanders also excrete chemicals that are toxic if directly ingested, but can be used to create a type of alcoholic beverage that is said to have hallucinogenic and aphrodisiacal effects.  

The moral of this story is definitely NOT that you should go out and start letting animals have their way with you in order to get high. That’s dangerous. However, if you one day find yourself stranded on a desert island infested with cobras, scorpions and toads, at least you know how to keep yourself entertained and elevated.