Can Snakes Be Charmed by Music?
No. Snakes can’t be charmed by music. Snakes don’t have external ears and can perceive little more than low-frequency rumbles. But when they see something threatening, they rise up in a defensive pose.
Hindu snake charmers play music for cobras, and the snakes seem to dance to it. But they aren’t really dancing. The snakes are very sensitive to vibrations around them.
A snake charmer taps his foot as he plays and sways to the music. The cobra feels the tapping, rears up into a striking position, and follows the snake charmer’s swaying motion.
The snake charmer knows very well how to keep the cobra from actually striking. But he may also remove the snake’s fangs to be on the safe side. Some charmers even sew the snake’s mouth shut.
A “charmed” cobra will appear mesmerized by the music. But, say scientists, while the snake has a type of hearing, it is actually responding to the sight – not the sound – of the flute.