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The Giant Anaconda

Listed under Monster Hunting in Manaus, Brazil.

  • Photo of The Giant Anaconda
  • Photo of The Giant Anaconda
  • Photo of The Giant Anaconda
Photo of The Giant Anaconda
Photo by flickr user Cristóbal Alvarado Minic
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The Anaconda, as accepted by science, is a group of aquatic snakes, very similar to boas. They lie in wait for their prey underwater, their well-camouflaged green-grey skin concealing the tops of their heads, which are all that remain above the water. They will strike when animals come near to drink, and will either drown or suffocate them by crushing their bodies with muscular coils, before eating them head first. The largest recorded specimens were between fifteen and twenty feet long, though precise size is difficult to determine as the anaconda skins stretch a great deal once they have been removed, and photographs of live specimens often lack examples of scale.

However, deep in the tropical forests and swamps of South America, a different story can be heard. The etymology of the name is doubtful, but the Spanish-speakers in the region call it the ‘matatoro’, or ‘bull killer’, and anacondas of a far greater size than a mere twenty feet are said to take livestock and sometimes people on a regular basis.

In 1907, an explorer named Major Percy Fawcett travelled widely in the area and heard many accounts from local and native people of anacondas of over fifty feet in length. His own scepticism evaporated, however, when he shot a massive anaconda swimming in the Rio Negro close to his boat. He measured it as 62 feet. In 1933, a ninety-foot one was said to have been killed by the Rio Oiapoc, a claim backed up by the Brazil-Columbia Boundary Commission, and a photograph discovered in 1948 is believed to show a hundred-foot monster snake, also found in the Rio Oiapoc area. A three-foot snake’s rib was also said to have been found on the banks of the Rio Purus, which would suggest that snakes as long as 150 feet could exist, though the rib was never analysed.

More recent sightings have been made by scientists working in the area as well as local people, but until one of these monster snakes is captured, they will always be regarded as cryptids.

Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The Giant Anaconda is considered the largest of snakes, not just because of its length but also due to its weight and girth. It is basically the South American counterpart of the Python which also comes in large size! The Anaconda can be a fearsome creature and has been known to devour big cats and crocodiles.

can anacondas swim in sea water

can they swim in sea water

1 Reply

They don't encounter salt water in their natural habitat, but they breathe air so they might be able to...

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