The Cobra Effect

This is more of a story than the usual forum post, however it is related to snakes so it loosely fits in.

India, during the period between 1858 - 1947 was under the ruling of Britain, known as British Raj.
The British government became increasingly worried about the large number of venomous cobras in Delhi, the territory that the capital city New Delhi is in.

The British came up with a plan and ordered a bounty for every dead cobra.
The plan was successful for some time. People would turn up with bunches of dead cobras and the amount of victims of their bites fell.

But after a while some cleverclogs worked the system in their favours. They would breed the cobras rather than hunt them, wait until they were of a decent size and then produce them to the officials for the bounty reward.

The British government soon found out about the practice and scrapped the reward program, leading to a lot of cobra breeders having a awful lot of unwanted cobras and nothing to do with them other than to set them free, causing further increase in the cobra population.

Wikipedia - The Cobra Effect


I was unaware there was a term for when a solution makes the problem worse. I like it.


Interesting read! Never would have even known that this use to be a thing at all. I love reading interesting things like this.

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