Q: Is the transformation by song? (From human to cobra?)
KATIE: I think the transformation is via creepy hypno-eyes, plus sitar music. The sitar music doesn’t actually transform you, it just lets us know that’s what’s happening, via the creepy hypno-eyes. The cobra has to intend to turn you.
Q:Is the transformation back by physical touch of others? If that were true, wouldn’t some of us be accidentally turned back? (By bumping in halls and such, cobra to human)
KATIE: The transformation back isn’t just casual touch. It’s deliberate touch – like reaching out and pulling someone out of a rushing river. You actually have to pull them to safety. Also, I think we decided you have to take the risk of making eye contact to do it.
ROB: I’m working my way backwards through these questions…. just ditto-ing what Katie said. Purposeful, rescuing touch — by someone who has a connection to you (ideally.) Similarly, with the cobras — if you’ve ever seen videos of somebody doing stage hypnosis — it’s a little like that. There’s a force of personality — when you see a cobra or other snake facing down a prey animal — the prey is often just quaking because there’s such focused force of intent coming from the snake.