A Snake Pit
is the terrestial cousin for Shark Pool
- a pit or container full of venomous or otherwise dangerous snakes, other reptilians, arachnids, scorpions or other nasty creatures. The victim is supposed to get killed by multiple angry animal bites or stings. While this is a very nasty and historically plausible way to get killed, it is also fairly impractical.
A classic example of this trope is in the Raiders of the Lost Ark
, where the heroes fall in a dried-up well full of various snakes. But the pit may also be a coffin, as in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die
- Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones, of course.
- In the Don Rosa Scrooge McDuck story "Treasure of the Ten Avatars", Scrooge and Donald run into such a Death Trap.
- James Bond film Live and Let Die, where James Bond knocks one of the voodoo priests into a coffin full of snakes.
- In Moonraker, Hugo Drax threw James Bond to a snake pool - a swimming pool where slithered a gigantic reticulated python. Python reticulatus is an excellent swimmer.
- In the Old Norse legend of the Niflungs, King Gunnar of the Niflungs is thrown into a snake pit to die by his treacherous brother-in-law Atli. Related in Prose Edda, Poetic Edda and Völsunga saga.
- In the Icelandic Legendary Sagas on Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons, King Ella a.k.a. Aelle of Northumbria has the captured Viking warlord Ragnar Lodbrok executed by throwing him into a pit of vipers. Most likely directly inspired by the above-mentioned Niflung legend.
- One appears in an episode of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures.
- In Sourcery the Grand Vizier, after learning that all their other methods of execution are out of order, reluctantly has Rincewind thrown into the snake pit. It turns out to contain one snake, which hides in the corner.
- Well, obviously. It's the snake pit, not the snakes pit.
- There's also Lord Vetinari's scorpion pit, but it's only for mimes.
- The story of Daniel and the lions' den in The Bible is a non-snake variant.
- The Lava Pit of Williams Electronics' Gorgar pinball includes a Snake Pit, which features a giant snake head and can catch the ball.