How could a snake eat a person?
The animal talkmyth Giant snakes
"Man swallowed by a giant snake" - this message haunts the media again and again. Our animal expert Mario Ludwig does away with the myth about the killer snakes.
Theoretically, anaconda, reticulated, tiger or northern rock python, these are the four largest species of giant snake, can swallow a person. Our animal expert Mario Ludwig has researched cases in which rock or reticulated pythons have been shown to have swallowed prey animals weighing up to 50 kilograms.
The giant snake species are physically the appropriate diameter and length to eat such large prey. Giant snakes from two meters in length are able to devour a leopard or a crocodile.
"We know about large anacondas that they have already swallowed a young cow in one piece."
The relatively narrow snake is able to unhook the lower and upper jaw. This makes its mouth so flexible, explains Mario Ludwig, that it is able to devour large prey with skin and hair.
Always head first
Regardless of the prey animal, the snake always begins to swallow at the head of its victim. The method is similar to a birth in which the baby is born head first: legs, arms, wings and the like could not get caught in the throat, so that the prey of the snake would get stuck in the throat.
"No other species of animal lied as much as giant snakes."
Horror stories of giant snakes with fake images that are said to be 15 or even 20 meters long keep appearing in the media. Mario Ludwig doubts that giant snakes of such size exist. The largest snake to date was found in 1912. It was a reticulated python ten meters long.
"A giant snake can devour almost any land animal with skin and hair - except for elephants."
The cases where giant snakes have swallowed people are extremely rare. A case from 1998 is documented and credible: on the Philippine island of Mindoro, villagers found a seven-meter-long reticulated python that had an extremely fat body. They killed the snake and cut it open. The result was a man who was already slightly digested. The man had been reported missing the day before. If you want to see what the man looks like: click here. Caution: looks disgusting!
"There have actually been a few cases where people have actually been eaten."
In December 2014, Paul Rosolie announced that he would be swallowed by a giant snake. The moment the snake wrapped itself tightly around him, opened its mouth around his head and broken his arm, he stopped the experiment. How exactly he got out of the situation remains unclear. The snake is still alive, said the Discovery Channel, which broadcast the documentary.
More horror stories about giant snakes online:
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