The venom in Bullet Train: is the boomslang snake real?

Posted by

Bullet Train is definitely one of the movies of 2022. The stellar cast did half of the job, with Brad Pitt, Bad Bunny as The Wolf, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, and Sandra Bullock, among others. The story is responsible for much of the movie’s beauty, coming from the novel Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka. And the soundtrack sounds fantastic, including this special version of Staying Alive in the movie credits. Still, one of the film’s protagonists is the boomslang snake and its venom, and people wonder if the effects of its bite described in the movie are real. Let’s discover more about it.

You can watch the official trailer for Bullet Train here on Youtube.

Bullet Train: is the boomslang snake real? How does its venom work?

The snake present in many scenes of the movie Bullet Train is presented as a boomslang and is indeed a real snake. Its name comes from the Afrikaans language and means “tree snake.” It belongs to the family Colubridae, which are typically harmless to humans, but this specific species is actually very venomous. And the description stated in the movie about the fact that its venom “makes you bleed from all of your orifices” is true.

As you can read in this old article on IFLScience, the boomslang’s venom “destroys red blood cells, disrupts the clotting process and causes tissue and organ degeneration,” causing hemorrhage and internal bleeding. And yes, you end up bleeding gums, nose, and other orifices.

What’s not real is the speed depicted in the movie. According to the scenes in Bullet Train, boomslang venom takes 30 seconds to kill a human if you don’t inject an antidote. In real life, the poison is much slower and can take three to five days to cause a person’s death. If the bite is recognized immediately, you have all the time to go to the hospital and avoid death, after staying there for a few nights.

You can learn more about the boomslang venom and watch some of their photos on Wikipedia.