Fact Check

Snake Byte

Do photographs show a snake found inside a personal computer?

Published Apr 6, 2005


Claim:   Photographs show a snake found inside a PC.

Status:   Undetermined.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

This you have to see to believe.

The phone rings:

Tech support: "Hello, computer tech support."

Customer: "Hello, my computer was making a strange hissing noise last night and this morning when I turned it on there was a crackling noise and some smoke then nothing. If I bring it in can you fix it?"

Take a look at the pictures . . .you won't believe it!!!!





Origins:   There are several different reasons why photographs might be declared "fakes":

  • The photos have been fabricated or manipulated with digital editing software.   (Example)
  • The photographs are real and unmanipulated, but the accompanying explanation of what they represent is erroneous.   (Example)
  • The photographs are real and unmanipulated in a digital sense, but some other type of misleading trickery has been employed.   (Example)

Which category do these photographs of a (dead) snake in a PC fall under? Although the text was likely written as a humorous commentary by someone other than the photographer, the pictures don't show any obvious signs digital manipulation. They might fit either of the other two categories: the snake might not have crawled into the PC on its own but was "posed" there by the photographer, or the snake might not even be real (merely a rubber serpent). Or the photographs might actually be as described, as many types of snakes do favor warm, dry, and dark enclosures, and one might conceivably crawl into a PC for shelter. (Many snakes are able to squeeze through spaces considerably smaller than their ordinary body widths.) Without more information, we can't make any definitive statement.

However, our cat, Buster, offers his own solution for anyone who experiences a similar problem:


Last updated:   12 December 2002

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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