A Man Locked Himself Up For 72 Hours With Over 50 Deadly Snakes To Prove A Point

It isn't uncommon for someone to have a fear of snakes. Sometimes the fear is so great it's known as ophidiophobia, a fear of snakes so great that it can interfere with everyday life (via Cleveland Clinic). There are more than 3,000 species of snakes, 600 of which are venomous, and only around 200 of those snakes are able to wound or kill a human, according to National Geographic. Even with the low number of snakes that could kill a person, those that are fans of these slithery reptiles probably wouldn't want to spend a few days trapped in a room with them.

As it turns out, though, there are a few people who would love to hang out in a small room with a bunch of snakes — one of whom is Neelim Kumar Khaire, whose passion for snakes started when he was 28 years old and working at a hotel in Pune, India. During his time at the hotel, he came across plenty of snakes paying a visit to the grounds. It was the time spent carrying the snakes from the hotel to a new, safe location that caused Khaire to fall in love with them. He even carried venomous, dangerous ones to new locations rather than kill them for wandering into the hotel (per India Today).

Khaire strongly believed snakes got a bad rap

Khaire's fixation on snakes made him a passionate advocate for their preservation and their reputation. Despite being bitten 6,000 times (per IFL Science). The fear and hatred shown by many toward snakes was something Khaire believed to be nonsense. After learning of a world record holder who stayed in a confined environment with 24 snakes for 50 hours, Khaire set out to beat it. The original record holder, Peter Snyemaris, was from South Africa, and 18 of the 24 snakes he locked himself up with were venomous, according to Oddity Central.

Set on claiming the title, Khaire grabbed a metal chair and a large glass box to embark on his mission. The snakes Khaire chose to spend his time with included nine Indian cobras, 27 monocled cobras, 24 Russell's vipers, four common snakes, and eight branded kraits (per India Today). With his friends, the snakes in the glass box, and a Guinness Book of World Records representative on site, Khaire set out to do what Indiana Jones himself never would and locked himself in a confined space with some of the world's deadliest snakes.

Khaire smashed the previous record by over 20 hours

Khaire didn't just want to break the record. He wanted to prove that snakes wouldn't attack someone unless they were provoked. During his time in the box, he would often redirect snakes that bumped into him or slithered over him by picking them up and placing them somewhere else. Khaire spent a total of 72 hours in the glass box and soared beyond all expectations without receiving even a single bite (per IFL Science).

Khaire broke the record in 1986 and used his glory as an opportunity to educate people about snakes in an effort to protect them and address the negative stigma surrounding them. Khaire founded the Indian Herpetological Society, whose website describes them as "a group of eminent scientists, researchers and social activists to promote the study and conserve herpetofauna in India." According to IFL Science, Khaire also has a snake named after him in honor of his contributions, the "Melanophidium khairei," which he undoubtedly loves just as much as any other reptile.