Scales and Tales

Here We Go Again and Again and Again! A stupid snake story rears its ugly head one more time.

This photo has been floating around the Internet since 2010 and now for the new year 2017, here it is again. So, I will rerun the post I made about it during its 2012 appearance. Some of the "facts" have changed a bit from the last time it showed up as it always the case with pure fabrication.Stupid Snake story-1

Will these stories never go away? I suppose not.

Here is the story it came with this time around:
"THIS IS NOT A PYTHON! This is a 15 foot Western Diamondback rattlesnake - the largest ever caught on record. This snake was found Near the St. Augustine outlet, in a new KB homes subdivision just south of Mesa AZ. A little research revealed the following: One bite from a snake of this size would contain enough venom to kill over 40 full grown men. The head of this snake alone is larger than the hand of a normal sized man. A bite from those fangs would be comparable to being stabbed by two curved, 1/4 inch diameter screwdrivers. The knife being used to draw out the fangs for the bottom picture has a blade around 6 inch long. This snake is estimated to have weighed over 170 pounds. Notice the girth of this snake as compared to the cop's leg in the first picture. A snake of this size could easily swallow a 2 year-old child and dogs, pigs, etc. A snake this size has an approximately 5 1/2 foot accurate striking distance. (The distance for an average size rattlesnake is about 2 feet.) This snake has probably been alive since George Bush Sr. was President. Now just ask yourself: What has this snake been feeding on and where are its offspring?"
Now, let's debunk this thing again:

  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 is in St Augustine, Florida. That took me 30 seconds on Google Maps to determine. This time around some enterprising person noticed the signs and moved the location to Mesa, Arizona instead of Laughlin Ranch, AZ on the border of NV. Boy this poor snake gets around well for dead animal.

  1. This is not a Western Diamondback, it is an Eastern Diamondbacks and Eastern Diamondbacks are not found in Arizona, they are Florida.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 5 feet long and weighed probably around 10 pounds. Big, but nothing record-setting.


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:

  1. A bite from this snake could possibly kill ONE person but that isn't even likely, especially with antivenom. Check out where an Eastern Diamondback fits into the list of venomous snakes on the deadly snakes page on our website:

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

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

  1. The knife in one of the photos is actually just a normal pocketknife.snakestory3

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

Here is how you make something look bigger or smaller than it really is. It is called forced perspective.



Things To Do

Main Exhibits




Animal Facts



Native to South Dakota


Botanical Gardens


About Us

Dog Policy

We love all animals, wild and domesticated. Unfortunately due to a high number of recent incidents with dogs, our insurance company has advised us that we can no longer allow dogs, or other personal pets, on the Reptile Gardens grounds. ADA approved service dogs are, of course, allowed although there are three areas where they are not allowed for their safety and the safety of our animals. We do offer a shaded grassy area adjacent to our parking lot for walking your dog. We only ask that your pet be leashed and attended to at all times. You are welcome to come and go from the park as often as you like to tend to your dog. For more information, visit our FAQ Page


Privacy Policy
Book Tickets Online Book Tickets