Fact Check

Was the World's Largest Snake Captured in the Amazon?

Fake news and fake photographs supposedly document the capture of a 134-foot-long anaconda caught after it had eaten 257 people and 2325 animals.

Published June 17, 2015

Photographs show a 134-foot anaconda caught in the Amazon after it ate 257 people and 2325 animals.

A series of low-resolution photos purportedly showing the "world's largest anaconda" have been circulating online since at least 2010:

Although these images seemingly show a very large snake being transported on the back of a truck, higher resolution versions of these photos reveal that the items pictured are just toys:

These images were created for a student project entitled "Vietnam Army caught the giant snake" in 2010.  While it's possible that the students used a real (but dead) snake for some of the photographs, the animal pictured was definitely not the "world's biggest anaconda."

The snake also didn't catch a rocket in its teeth:

Or get run over by tanks:

Although most of the photographs included with the "world's largest anaconda" rumor came from the student project displayed above, another image purportedly showing the enormous (yet fictional) snake originated with a YouTube video published in 2012:

While we haven't been able to determine how the image featured in the above-displayed video was created, we have been able to determine that it is fake based on two factors. First, the video claims that the snake is at least 75 feet long (which is more than twice the size of the largest snake on record), and second, the video was uploaded by a cryptozoologist (Marc Anders) who frequently employs digital manipulation to speculate about the existence of creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.

In June 2015, a story containing oddly specific details (e.g., how could the number of animals this snake had killed be known?) was attached to these pictures:

The world's largest Anaconda was caught in Amazon forest. This snake had eaten 257 people & 2325 animals. It is 134 feet long and 2067 kg. This anaconda was caught alive by a long struggle after 37 days and killed by the Royal British commando force.

In July 2015, a different fake photograph was attached to the very same claims (i.e., the giant reptile had eaten "257 people and 2325 animals") by the web site Information Nigeria. Similar to the above-displayed images, Information Nigeria manipulated a photograph of a regular-sized snake to make it appear as if it were the "world's largest snake":

This claim contains several giveaways beyond the obviously manipulated photographs. Most obviously, a 134-foot-long snake is more than four times longer than the world's largest snake, the Green Anaconda, which (according to National Geographic) can reach a length of about 30 feet. Even Titanoboa, the enormous Cretaceous fossil discovered in 2012, topped out at under 50 feet.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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