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Myths About Anaconda Snakes

Updated on November 30, 2013

Anaconda Snakes

The mere thought of the anaconda snake stirs up fear, hatred and possibly revulsion in our hearts. Most of us have lived our entire lives believing the myths spread by people who possibly know very little about the snake or the mental picture of ruthlessness with which the anaconda kills it human preys as portrayed in the movie "Anaconda".

In this article, I donât intend to totally erase the monstrous image you have of the serpent or convince you to adopt it as a pet. My goal is to bust some of the myths about the snake.

A Common Ground

Some information we have been feed about the anacondas are accurate. It is true that the anaconda’s natural habitat is the Tropical forests in South America. It is also true that it is that largest snake in terms of diameter and equally the heaviest. You won’t be wrong if you said this serpent is the world’s second longest snake behind the reticulated python.

If you know all these facts I have just listed, then Congratulations for not being oblivious of the three facts most people get right about the anaconda snakes. If not, you don’t have to worry. Just read on!

Myth #1: Anacondas are Habitual Man-eaters

These snakes are carnivorous in nature. They feed on wide a range of aquatic and terrestrial creatures with turtles, dogs, frogs, fish, sheep and deer being their favorite prey. They also have the ability to swallow bigger animals like jaguars and even man.

The perception that Anacondas are habituated man-eaters is wrong. They have been observed to attack humans only when attacked, startled or harmed. They prefer to retreat in face of confrontation and attack only as a last option of self-defense.

Movies, Books and Posters About Anacondas

Myth #2: A Very Gigantic Snake

Although the anaconda snake is a gigantic creature, it is not as long as fifty feet neither does it weigh two hundred kilograms. The biggest of these serpents only make it as far as thirty-five feet, and almost never weigh past one hundred and fifty kilos.

Myth #3: Anacondas Are Mythical creatures

This serpent is by no means a mythical creature. It is often the giant anaconda that is regarded as a mythical creature. Anacondas are from a family of snakes that grow about 30 feet in length. But over the last century there have been several reports by locals, researchers and explorers of sighting a snake whose length exceeds 60 feet.

There have been several unconfirmed reports by locals in the Amazon region of seeing a big snake as long as 50 feet. These claims were backed up by Major Percy Fawcett's account of him killing a 62-foot long snake in 1907 somewhere in Brazil. According to him, he didn't think it was necessary to bring the snake back to civilization.

In 1995, a researcher claimed to have seen a snake whose eyes were spaced 12-inch apart. She never saw the length of the snake but concluded that it must be a pretty huge snake. Other stories have put the length of the reptile from amazon at 150 feet. However, no report of sighting the giant anaconda has ever been confirmed. It is for this reason the giant anaconda is considered a mythical creature.

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