Hollywood Survival: 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (1981)

A critical look at ten of the silver screen's oddest, most entertaining, and occasionally even accurate techniques for dealing with disaster

SCENARIO: When Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is thrown by his enemies into a pit filled with snakes, he uses a torch to scare them off. If you’re being attacked by poisonous serpents, will fire frighten them away?

THE EXPERT SAYS: “With that many snakes, I think he’d be screwed,” says Nester. At best, Indy’s torch technique is a coin toss: “The heat might draw the snakes in, though it could repel them if they’re too close.” But given the circumstances, it was also his last option—so if you’re somehow unlucky enough to fall into a comparable situation, it’s worth a shot.

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