Notes on Drinking Cobra Blood


Journalist Lydia Tomkiw visits a night market in northern Jakarta and reports for CNNgo on the handful of cobra blood vendors who bleed the snakes for locals and tourists, and sometimes mix their blood with alcohol as a cocktail.

I’m a little fascinated by snake blood, which has become an unfortunate way to measure street cred and masculinity among thrill-seekers (many of whom are imitating Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain).

I’m reminded of these recent images of marines drinking snake blood and eating insects in Thailand as an exercise in survival (the marines look like they’re having a lot of fun). But Tomkiw’s piece is interesting because she mentions the women clientele, who seek out the blood for decidedly more feminine reasons: the promise of firmer breasts and clearer skin.