August 08, 2013

Appalachian Hunt Facts

  • The most common species of rattlesnake in the Southeast United States is the pygmy rattler (Sistrurus miliarius) and the eastern diamondback (C. adamanteus), which is one of the world's largest snakes.

  • Female rattlesnakes actually give birth typically every other year. Rattlesnake litters range from five to 14 and the mothers stay with their young for one or two weeks when all the snakes leave the den to find food.

  • Rattlesnakes store venom is glands below and behind its eyes. When the snake bites its prey or enemy, muscles around these sacks squeeze down, sending the venom through the fangs that are hollow like hypodermic needles.

  • Snakes do not have ears and do not hear most sounds. To detect movement around them they sense vibrations in the ground.

  • The pygmy rattlesnake is the smallest venomous snakes in Tennessee. They are known to be very good swimmers and have a small rattle that sounds like the buzz of an insect.

  • The western pygmy rattlesnake has been listed as a threatened species by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and it been categorized as "rare and imperiled."

  • Numbering over 3,000 different species of snakes, the diversity of the world's population ranges from 10 cm thread snake to the 30-foot reticulated python.

  • The snake's forked tongue collects scent molecules to sense if they are nearing prey, an enemy, or whether another snake is of the same species or ready to mate.

  • "Spitting" venom up to eight feet, the Mozambique spitting cobra can spray venom from any position and often aims for enemy's eyes, which can cause blindness.

  • Middlesboro, Kentucky is close to Cumberland Gap National Park, the second largest historical park in the country and Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Kentucky's first state park.

  • Pianist Ben Harney, the "Father of Ragtime," originated the form of playing the piano in Middlesboro during the early 1890s.

  • There are over 20 million Pentecostals in the United States and over 250 million Pentecostals worldwide. Snake handling makes up an extremely small percentage of Pentecostal churches.

  • In the state of Tennessee it is illegal to keep, trade, or handle venomous snakes from the wild. Only institutions and breeders with special permits can have them.

  • George Went Hensley, who later in his preaching career co-founded the Dolley Pond Church of God, a serpent-handling church, died from snakebite in 1955.

  • University of Pennsylvania researchers studied five women while they spoke in tongues and through brain images discovered they their frontal lobes—the parts of the brain attributed to conscious control of actions were mostly quiet. The parts of the brain that control language were also fairly inactive.

  • In 2006 the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life called the Pentecostalism movement—associated with Holiness serpent-handling sects but not limited to them—among the fastest-growing segments of Christianity globally, making up a quarter of the two billion Christians worldwide.

  • In September 2012, a snake in Kansas City, by the name Medusa, was confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the largest captive snake, weighing more than 300lbs, measuring 25ft long and requiring 15 people to hold her.

  • Actress Megan Fox claims she first spoke in tongues at the age of years old, when she first started attending a Pentecostal church in Tennessee. "It feels like a lot of energy coming through the top of your head," she said in an Esquire interview. "And then your whole body is filled with this electric current. And you just start speaking, but you're not thinking because you have no idea what you're saying. Words are coming out of your mouth, and you can't control it."

  • The Gospel of Mark is the first of the gospels to be written and chronicles the life of Jesus in full arc, from his early adult life through his death.

  • It isn't known whether Mark was Jewish or a gentile and where he wrote the gospel is still debated but possible locations include Rome, Alexandria, or Syria.

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