My name is Steve Ludwin and I've been injecting snake venom into my body for over 20 years. I'm now 46. Nearly 100,000 to 150,000 people are killed by snakebites every year, but I strongly believe that what can kill can also save.

Just four years ago, when I was 42, I had my DNA telomeres tested and they showed the aging properties of a 28-year-old.

Despite a stint in intensive care after an overdose from three separate venoms, a suspected heart attack brought on by cobra venom and a temporarily rotting leg, nothing thus far has put me off my passion for studying this highly evolved reptilian saliva.

Although I don't recommend or condone any person inject themselves or others with snake venom, I do believe from my experience there are possible benefits to self-immunisation.

I'm an advocate of the research into snake venom (and any venom) for medicinal values.

You can check out a recent documentary on me and my research called 'Venom Superman' on VICE.com.

Here's a couple pics of me, for verification: http://i.imgur.com/RPAmtEB.jpg http://i.imgur.com/ZItGd2x.jpg

Be kind to snakes, folks!

EDIT: SORRY GUYS JUST WANTED TO ISSUE THIS DISCLAIMER AS SOME OF YOU GUYS ARE EXPRESSING INTEREST IN DOING THIS, DON'T!

I do not advise, recommend or condone any person to self-immunise or immunise any other person or persons with snake venom. Immunisation with snake venom of any type, whether carried out by injection, ingestion or any other means, is an extremely dangerous and experimental activity which is likely to result in serious injury or even death and should not be carried out by any person whatever the circumstances. I make no guarantees that self-immunisation will provide health benefits or enhancements. Additionally, I assume no liability for any risks or damages to personal health or injury, including death. Anyone choosing to ignore this warning does so at their own risk and should contact a medical professional to learn more about the risks and hazards involved and, in case of an emergency, seek immediate medical assistance

EDIT 7.25PM GMT / 2.25PM EST: I've finished answering questions for the moment everyone. Thanks very much for all the love, hate and curiousity! If you feel like your question didn't get answered, I'm sorry. There was a lot of them! For the moment, if you want more answers, I answered a few key questions about the documentary VICE made about me in a video, which if you want you can watch here. Thanks again everyone! Pura Vida!

Comments: 3855 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

ShittyEverything2564 karma

What's it like being fucking crazy?

venomsuperman1350 karma

I am sorry if it appear loco but I can assure you there is a method to my "madness"

ShittyEverything1263 karma

Well, of course it seems that way to you.

neeghairs771 karma

[deleted]

venomsuperman1392 karma

Why does it always have to be man. There will be a venom superwoman someday and she will save us all

desmunda558 karma

I saw your video on vice a while ago man...you don't seem crazy at all...passionate maybe, but not crazy.

venomsuperman421 karma

Thank you!

venomsuperman716 karma

Oh and to answer your question: feels kinda good

Hamilton_Cork835 karma

Yo Snakeman!! What's the maddest thing you have ever done on ur skateboard whilst tripping on snake crack?

venomsuperman1199 karma

Made a car that was chasing me crash into manure like in BAck To The Future

Hamilton_Cork175 karma

Trill. When you were actually bitten, do you just freak out and chuck a cobra across the room? Or is it more of a calm response? Also is it hard to get a snake off you once it has bitten you?

venomsuperman273 karma

It is off you in lightening speed. They are quick.

coldize39 karma

Someone posted a video of Steve irwin getting bit for what seemed like a full minute.

venomsuperman100 karma

I love Steve Irwin. That was a python in that video, it wouldn't have been venomous, but he was still so calm.

It depends on the snake, the bite and the situation. But usually they are extremely quick when biting something as big as a human. Although some rear fanged snakes like to chew.

jduece694 karma

You had a ROTTING LEG and continued to do this?? Wtf. Did it stink??

venomsuperman739 karma

I had three of the most horrible decomposing stinkholes on my leg. It stank like death. Flies were coming to it

rickerth305 karma

How long ago was this, did it completly heal and do you have a picture of how it looks now?

venomsuperman406 karma

About 3 years ago. Yeah here's screengrabs (from the doc) of one of the holes on my leg. Rotting: http://i.imgur.com/IgVXcP9.jpg Healed: http://i.imgur.com/ficFA2t.png

rickerth462 karma

Well it sounded a lot worse then it was, i was expecting a leg with a large chunk out of it :).

neeghairs350 karma

What's with the creepy smile face?

venomsuperman242 karma

Sorry I was in a rush

Salacious-43 karma

You must be a hit with the ladies.

venomsuperman173 karma

Girls dig snakes yes.

zonkola437 karma

Are your powers strong enough to fight Spider-Man yet?

venomsuperman1014 karma

No but hopefully Bear Grillz

Nirvalove370 karma

I fucking loved every second of your Vice documentary ! Just wanted to thank you for that.

venomsuperman329 karma

Thanks so much for everyone watching such a new subject.

venomsuperman59 karma

Gracias and Pura Vida!

JRM_Elephant365 karma

have you ever tasted it? if so, what did it taste like?

venomsuperman858 karma

Hemotoxic venoms taste ok and sweetish but the neurotoxins taste vile and bitter. Go figure

thefebs325 karma

What is your injection schedule like?

You seem to have a pretty strong tremor in your video. Do you always have this, or just after injecting venom? If its constant, did it only start after you injected venom for the first time?

venomsuperman799 karma

I inject every couple weeks. Although sometimes there are periods of time where I "push it" and do it more regularly.

The shaking in the video I've had a lot of questions about, but in reality it was just that I was nervous. It was early in the morning, we had to have paramedics present and an ambulance team outside, in case anything went wrong, and I had two camera guys in the room with me... Oh and a big light so the room was lit up. None of which I'm used to when I'm doing this on my own!

(Oh and a late night of partying the night before with my gf, Mary Jane, didn't help)

venomsuperman100 karma

I shake when I am extremely nervous and I am also camera shy like Fred Flintstone. I never shake when I am alone and milking snakes. Everyone who thinks I have done neuro damage is wrong. I also was partying the night before

Donkeyslapper84297 karma

I read in an article that you don't sterilize the venom before injecting it, why don't you sterilize it?

And, do you have trouble walking with those enormous balls of yours?

venomsuperman524 karma

Yeah I used to just use fresh raw venom until some herpetologist Dr. pointed the stupidity of that! I am now much more careful but still never had any real problems the old way. And my balls are not enormous by any means. Matter of fact I think all the venom has seriously shrunken them like raisins.

rdstrmfblynch79293 karma

does your health insurance know about/cover this?

venomsuperman545 karma

Nobody will ever give me health cover. I have tried!

jim458041232 karma

I believed in universal healthcare before this.

venomsuperman66 karma

I'm very thankful to the NHS. But if I had to go again I would rather not waste time/resources

TheTeflonRon239 karma

If this is covered under his health insurance, I need to change my provider.

venomsuperman392 karma

It's called the NHS

Borneofunction98 karma

He lives in the UK so doesn't need any.

venomsuperman181 karma

Also true, and very thankful to the NHS. Although I would rather not waste time/resources should I have to go again

Zmannum2261 karma

What's next after snakes? Brown Recluse spider? My mother in law?

venomsuperman740 karma

Milk yr Mother in Law and send it over. She might save as well

UnKaveh245 karma

Do you have a fear of death at all?

venomsuperman805 karma

I have a fear of some of the pop music that pollutes the airwaves. I am usually never afraid of dying cause once I made it past Jesus' age I just think bonus. No proper research yet. Time will tell.

Murphy1570241 karma

How has your current or previous girlfriend/wife reacted to your usage of snake venom? Has it affected your relationship in any way?

venomsuperman542 karma

My gf is an Aussie gal and she loves all things venom!!!!

ZeroKrysis238 karma

1) What are the most obvious effects you've seen immediately after being injected?

2) What is the most soothing venom? 3) Which snake has the biggest penis?

venomsuperman334 karma

  1. Swelling and burning pain from hemotoxins. Neurotoxins feel less painful but and seem cleaner, although I am newer to the neurotoxins and am thinking of backing off and sticking with hemotoxins, which was my (accidental) specialty.

  2. No venoms are soothing.

  3. Large male reticulated python, or anaconda (Not trouser).

radbro215 karma

What struck me most about the video on Vice was that you say several times that you have no scientific basis for this, that it could cause deadly problems for you, and that the positive effects aren't especially clear. You point out that a test of your DNA telomeres likened you to a 28-year-old, but in the video you then say that you don't know if there are really any anti-aging properties.

In short, you seem very passionate about using the venom, but you're not especially evangelical about its benefits, whatever those might actually be.

My question is - why keep doing it? Is it more just habit at this point?

The_Music199 karma

I think his hesistance is admirable. You wouldn't want to come out and make all these claims based on one case: yourself. People will call you a crazy pseudo scientist.

venomsuperman222 karma

Thank you for noticing this.

TTC119192 karma

HEY WHAT'S UP STEVE IT'S LEE FROM TRASH TALK! I still want a vile of venom to hang on a chain.

venomsuperman164 karma

Yo Lee great to hear from you! Great new tunes! Hit me up on facebook with your details and I will sort something out!

pizza_lord187 karma

Does it get you high?

venomsuperman258 karma

Not like weed or anything no

wait1127 karma

What like then?

venomsuperman333 karma

Cobra venom makes you feel kind of charged, and possibly lack of pain

attax268 karma

So cocaine?

venomsuperman204 karma

I'd say it's different, but similar at the same time, it seems to make you feel more keen to be active. And physically more able. But it's different because there's not so much of a mood change and no drippy nose the next day

Fyrefli158 karma

Do you build up a tolerance to the venom, or do you just use small "doses"?

meepstah120 karma

Came in to ask this. Would a real snake bite still knock you down?

venomsuperman132 karma

Depends on the snake, but probably. Although I did get bit by an eyelash viper a few years back and knowingly rode it out (no hospital trip).

venomsuperman67 karma

Yes, you build up a tolerance by using small doses and building up the doses, like horses do when they make anti venom.

The hemotoxins I seem to have more of an immunity to, as have been using longer

sobercenterforants103 karma

in your video you seemed pretty good at skating. whats it like skating on snake venom?

venomsuperman325 karma

I love skating after doing cobra injections. People say it is dangerous but it is just like a video game for me going in-between buses and cars, collecting points for every time someone yells abuse or beeps a horn. Like a real life Pac-Man. Skating rules and the wheel and fire are my favourite inventions!

TheReasonableCamel87 karma

Have you ever eaten snake before?

venomsuperman359 karma

Never. I could never eat a family member like that Bear Dickhammer

BayAreaSteppen75 karma

What do your friends/family think of this?

What is the normal reaction when you tell someone that you do this?

I saw some show on the discovery channel about a guy who did this because he worked a lot with snakes. He developed a resistance to snake bites because of the daily injections. Does this work for you?

Do you feel any "benefits" besides the "aging of a 28 year old?"

Thanks for the ama!

edit: WHERE DO YOU GET ALL THIS SNAKE VENOM?

venomsuperman140 karma

From milking my own collection of snakes (and some others).

WacoKid212216 karma

I have nipples, Focker

kuchiesNcream144 karma

Can you milk me?

venomsuperman324 karma

With the right plug yes

BayAreaSteppen19 karma

How many snakes does it take to keep this steady supply going?

What kind of snakes, and does injecting one kind of snake venom immune you from all other snake venom, or just from the species you are injecting it from?

venomsuperman49 karma

Because the venom is so strong, milking and freezing from the few snakes I have enables months of supply to be on hand. I rarely need to milk my snakes.

Mostly I inject hemotoxic pit vipers.

I would hazard to say that generally speaking the more similar the two venoms are the more chance your immunity to one will be effective against the other, but they are all massively different and complex, in reality.

UnfunnyBunnies35 karma

[deleted]

venomsuperman53 karma

That is so cool. thanks for watching that response. I had fun and almost puked up mice

Betaman8234 karma

My friend and I are interested in herpetology, and we want to start breeding snakes for venom. Any pointers for us? Good breeds to start with? Also, is this just a hobby or do you make any money off selling the venom?

venomsuperman61 karma

Great that you are all interested in herpetology! This is my hobby and no I do not sell or make money off venom. Good luck and seriously study unlike I did and you will go far amigos!

Coltonio32 karma

What was it like working with Vice?

Have you ever convinced someone else to try injections? Would you even want to?

Have you taken any orally? If so, which venom is the most delicious?

venomsuperman80 karma

Working for VICE was totally great. They were up for everything. They gave me free mice! Brought cool tunes ASAP Rocky and Danny Brown! I have seen others inject. And venom orally is relatively safe. It is not a poison!

A8Warmonger32 karma

Be careful. They cancelled Steve Erwins line of suntan lotion because it didn't stop the rays.

venomsuperman18 karma

Clever

redditplebs21 karma

Hey, I'm sorry about the responses you are getting but I actually support you, and I think it's pathetic that people's only comments are that "u r so stupid". Live and let live (or die). It's your life, you can do what you want with it! Reddit is brimming with people who think they know something be it science or whatever and they overflow with righteous indignation. (and are unbelievably bad at getting jokes)

I loved the vice videos and crazy people like you are what makes the world worth living in, keep it up man.

venomsuperman15 karma

Thanks buddy!

undilutedrama18 karma

after watching your vice video late the other night caused me to have quite a disturbing dream last night, I got bit by a venomous snake and I was fucked n we went to quite an effort to get the anti venom, then later on in the dream my girlfriend put the snake in the microwave, It did not enjoy it and went crazy as a snake probably would do If you put it in the microwave,, anyway enough of that hahaa I would like to know have you ever injected coral snake venom?? Sam

venomsuperman63 karma

Stop eating cheese burgers before you go to bed and yes I have tried Coral snake

Maticus18 karma

I watched your video last week. You seem like a pretty cool and humble guy.

Could you get in trouble for having venomous snakes in your apartment? I mean are there laws that prohibit that in your country?

venomsuperman53 karma

They are not in my apartment and I have a licence to keep all my animals.

Nolif317 karma

Whats the closest you've ever came to death?

venomsuperman29 karma

The time I accidentally injected too much of three different kinds of venoms (northern pacific rattlesnake, eyelash viper and pope's tree viper). I spent 3 days in intensive care and nearly lost my arm

Nolif313 karma

Could you feel that too much was injected or did you have to wait for effects?

venomsuperman23 karma

I knew straight away I was in trouble. Burning pain and my hand swelled up like a baseball glove within 15mins.

JRM_Elephant8 karma

Do you take any recreational drugs?

venomsuperman20 karma

I have been in a touring pro rock band for manny many years so yes. But I only really ever fell in love with Mary Jane. She is my Godess for sure. I don't even drink now to save putting stress on my liver, etc

SageLikeFool8 karma

What was it that originally started you on this path of self-injecting snake venom?

Do you feel your choice has effected the relationships you have with others?

Have you found peers that believe and do the same?

venomsuperman9 karma

I think Bill Haast really planted the seed of using venom. Has not really effected any relationships I have and yes I know of peers that do similar

fractalfondu7 karma

Assuming you are into women, how has their reaction been to this and what effect does this practice have on your relationships?

venomsuperman19 karma

I love woman so much I want to be one. My gf fully supports my venom research and even steals my venom to use in her moisturiser cream

MauricioPosada2 karma

In respect to the telomeres. Did the doctors give you any possible explanation about how this anti aging effect is possible? Snake venom has been known to slow the signs of aging and is used in some face creams if i am not mistaken. But do you know or have any theories of how this might be so?

venomsuperman1 karma

No he seemed surprised (the doctor that is). They also did tests on my skin and found very little damage even though I've been surfing and traveling in hot countries all my life.

Venom is in some face creams, yes. It works like non-evasive botox... I inject it, go figure.

paraarm2 karma

Do you have a job? Who would hire you?

venomsuperman3 karma

I work as a published song writer.

SonicDissonance2 karma

What would you say the most beautiful snake is?

venomsuperman1 karma

I love all the Asiatic seen tree vipers!!! Cuter than kittens!

katiex5151 karma

Does this affect your sexual health at all?

venomsuperman10 karma

Not at all I am always hungry. ADIDAS style

igotthepancakes1 karma

Saw the video the other week. That's some crazy shit. In there, you mentioned a dude who got a lot of success out of treating people with various snake venom back in the day, and he inspired you. I've forgotten his name; what was his name, and why did that type of treatment stop?

venomsuperman1 karma

Everyone please read more about Bill Haast the original man who started injecting in 1948. There are some great vids being posted by his wife.

son_of_the_mask1 karma

"I have had science prove this helps me in some unknown way, but I don't recommend other people do it" WTF!

venomsuperman1 karma

It's not necessarily very safe! I don't want people to get hurt! I might just be incredibly lucky

ShiftTHPS1 karma

Do you plan on using other toxins, maybe from spiders or reptils?

venomsuperman1 karma

Spiders no. I am really scared of spiders so I will leave it up to that other guy. Lizard venom yes!

bucky4201 karma

my wife and i watched your vice special because you reminded us so much of her cousin in london.

in the movie, you say you never get sick. could that be maybe not from the venom but maybe because your immune system has gotten so strong from the unsanitary conditions?

does injecting it get you any fun kind of high? like party high? or at least chill on your couch and lose track of how many bowls of cereal you've eaten high?

venomsuperman7 karma

Doesn't get you me high at all in a party sense unless I hear a WEEN or Smiths song

Wasplol0 karma

Do you think it could improve the human genetics?

Are you snake man?

venomsuperman1 karma

Maybe. And I wish I had scales instead of hair. hair is so mammalian