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Scales and Tales

Here We Go Again! Another Wild Snake Story

These photos have been circulating for several years now. And, as usual, each time they make the rounds of emails the story gets wilder and wilder and more utterly ridiculous. So, let's just hammer this one point by point. Please pass this post on to all your friends who sent you this photo.


1. This isn't in Arizona, it is in St John's county Florida, says so right on the sheriff's car! Tuscan Villa Court (on the street sign) is in St Augustine, St John's County, Florida. That took me 30 seconds on Google Maps to determine.

2. They did get one thing right it is indeed an Eastern Diamondback. But Eastern Diamondbacks are not found in Arizona anyway, they are found....in Florida.

3. It is nowhere near 15 feet long, perspective, perspective, perspective. And get real - could one guy actually hold up a 170 pound (or even a 50 pound) anything on a long aluminum stick the size of a broomstick? Could you lift one of your friends of similar weight with that stick, and then not have it bend in half? No, of course not. This nice big diamondback looks to be around 6 feet long and weighed probably around 10 pounds. Big, but nothing record-setting.

I had to throw in this forced perspective photo we made here last time I ran one of these stories


Forced perspective!


Given the actual facts of this snake's size I realize the other points of the story become totally irrelevant. But, let's mention them anyway, just for fun:

4. A bite from this snake could possibly kill ONE person but that isn't even likely, especially with antivenom.

5. This snake could not swallow a 2 year-old child or pretty much any pet except your pet guinea pig.

6. Maximum striking distance would indeed be around 2 feet because this is a slightly above average snake.

7. The knife in one of the photos, not shown here, is actually just a normal pocketknife.

Is a large Diamondback a dangerous snake? Absolutely. Let's just not throw logic out the window when looking at such photos

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