William Haast developed a fascination for snakes at a young age. He had many snake-related jobs during his life from working at a roadside snake exhibit to opening his own snake farm to running the Miami Serpentarium Laboratories, a facility that produces snake venom for research and medical purposes. Haast extracted the venom by holding the snakes by the head thus making them bite on a rubber membrane covering a cuvette. By the time of his death, Haast have been bitten more than 172 times.
He practiced “Mithridatism” which is a way of protecting yourself against poison, in this particular case, by receiving snake poison injections with gradually increasing the amount of venom. Haast often donated his blood to be used as anti-venom when treating snake-bite victims if another antidote wasn’t available. He died in 2011 at the age of 100.