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Giant Snake Doesn’t Belong In Columbia S.C.

May 25, 2012

Columbia, S.C. resident Andrew Philson came across this gigantic snake in his yard on Tuesday. He called animal control who refused to do anything. They said it sounded like an unusually large Black Rat Snake – a beneficial species. A Black Rat Snake is a solid black critter that never exceeds 7 feet in length and they’re very common in S.C. I think the guys at animal control were either too lazy or too afraid to get involved with such a monster.

Mr. Philson took this photo of the snake. He thinks it is some kind of Python, and I agree. I took a good, long look at the photo and thought it important to point out that a good portion of the snake’s length is hidden behind the tree (shown in red). I can’t tell how far his tail hangs down the backside of the tree. It has to be at least 18 feet long and doesn’t belong in the United States.

You’ve probably heard about the population explosion of Burmese Pythons in the Florida Everglades that are eating all the native animal species to the point of extinction. They don’t belong in the U.S. either. The theory is that they escaped from pet stores when Hurricane Andrew ripped through southern Florida in 1992. This brings up a couple of possibilities as to how this giant appeared in South Carolina. It is either someone’s pet that got loose, or the Florida Pythons are migrating northward. Pythons are non-venemous, but are constrictors who can swallow animals as large as deer whole. Only an idiot would have such a thing for a pet.

This beast could eat your dog, your cat, or even your child. Maybe it can’t swallow an adult human, but it could wrap around you and squeeze the life out of you. This snake and every one like it should be found and killed before it has a chance to multiply. It was found about 70 miles from where I live, so I’m considering buying a shotgun and taking it with me every time I go outside. If I saw something like this in my yard, I’d have nightmares for the rest of my life.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. scientifican permalink
    May 26, 2012 9:42 PM

    I should never have clicked. Is there an Un-see button? No like (the snake – not the blog, haha).

    • May 27, 2012 1:34 PM

      Sorry, no “Un-see” button. I’d use it myself. Thanks for looking, though. Me no like snakes either. When I don’t like a certain critter, I want to know everything about them. “Know thine enemy.” The critters I hate most are snakes, bees and ants.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 20, 2012 9:00 PM

    Learn about snakes before u start pulling down things you know nothing about…idiot!

    • June 21, 2012 10:21 AM

      I take it you’re a lover of large snakes. Go give your Boa a big hug.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 23, 2012 8:06 PM

        Seriously though, I know a lot of people are scared or intimidated by snakes but most captive bred snakes make brilliant pets. Fair enough venomous ones can be a danger when they feel threatened but on the whole there is not much to worry about if you give them a wide berth. As far as ‘killer’ giant snakes go, provided you are not planning on provoking them and you don’t stink of their food lol there is not much worry. I’ve kept and bred alsorts of exotic animals for 18 years and one thing I have learned is treat them with respect and they will do the same. Honestly they do not deserve their sinister reputation and definitely don’t deserve to be blown to bits by a shotgun

        • June 25, 2012 11:52 AM

          You bring up two good points. Should snakes and other exotic animals be kept and bred in captivity? And what happens when they get loose, like the recent episode in North Carolina? You’re not always going to be around to care for them.

          • Dan permalink
            March 7, 2014 1:51 PM

            I’m not even exaggerating here when I say that more people die every year from falling out of bed than are killed by large snakes. Globally, there have been 12 confirmed deaths caused by large constrictors in the last 10 years (this number includes both wild and captive animals) compare that number to the 42 confirmed deaths caused by dogs last year in the united states alone. If you look at the numbers advocating for a ban (or the death) of all large snakes on the basis of public safety just doesn’t make sense unless you’re also going to go after MUCH MUCH more dangerous animals like your adorable little puppy.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 8, 2014 11:00 PM

        The picture is obviously a perspective trick. Its a rat snake on a traffic sign pole.. probably no bigger than 4ft.

  3. LHW permalink
    June 24, 2012 9:45 PM

    So much scientific misinformation here it’s not even funny. The official known record for a black rat snake is 9 feet so the “never exceeds 7 feet in length” goes right out the window. Also, if you actually think that they are always solid black then it’s obvious you have never even bothered to do a google image search for black rat snakes. They are born with a very visible pattern that fades as they get older, many older snakes often retaining a good deal of visible pattern. And the clincher, you can see the white lip that totally gives it away that it’s a rat snake. Also, regardless of what anyone wants to say about global warming, SC still gets too cold in the winter for pythons to survive. Lastly, the attempted hysteria rousing at the end is rather shameless. Even if this animal wanted to, it is not big or strong enough to pose a threat to humans (adult or child), other than a bad bite. If it could even eat a dog, it could only eat a small one. Lastly, even though I have not seen a BRS as long as this guy, I have seen one as thick (he was obese) on display at SciWorks in Winston-Salem, NC.

    • June 25, 2012 11:45 AM

      Thanks for correcting my scientific errors. If a snake like that could only eat a small dog, that’s one dog too many. Do you think a small dog (or cat) is any less precious to its owner than a large one? Remember, “dog” spelled backward is god. “Snake” spelled backward is just ekans.

      • LHW permalink
        June 25, 2012 4:59 PM

        No, a small dog/cat is not any less precious than a large one, but a snake that could just barely eat a small dog (and I still don’t entirely think this one could which is why I said “if”) certainly poses no threat to humans. Please remember that length is not the only thing that determines how dangerous a snake is. Boa constrictors (typically 10-13ft long) while they can get large enough to constrict a human to death they cannot swallow even a child, not like bigger pythons. Boas and pythons are more muscular for their size and have bigger heads than a rat snake near that length. So for their size, they can tackle larger and stronger prey. Yes the public should be protected from dangerous invasive animals (and I applaud you for your concern both for people and pets), but as far as I can tell, this is a rat snake which would never seek out a human or even bite anyone except in self defense, and as its name implies, prefers rodents as prey.

        • LHW permalink
          June 25, 2012 5:02 PM

          One last point, if you were looking at a 7ft boa and a 7ft rat snake, you would see what I’m talking about.

          • Anonymous permalink
            June 25, 2012 5:50 PM

            Well said

    • Leo permalink
      March 27, 2016 5:19 PM

      I didnt know about the markings being visable, but I have seen a black snake longer than 9ft. Not as fat as in this photo but definitely over 9 feet as it was crossing a dirt road.

  4. cory permalink
    September 21, 2012 7:41 PM

    if u look at the markings it is a Greene anaconda they can reach lengths of up to 22 feet can be highly aggressive but are also great pets I would love to live in or close to the area this was found it would go great with my other snakes

    • Rufus permalink
      March 7, 2014 4:48 PM

      I’m closer to being a green anaconda than this snake -_-

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 8, 2014 3:04 PM

        Nice try, Green Anaconda.

    • September 15, 2015 11:20 PM

      Green Anacondas are marked with fairly round spots, and are green in color. This is a black ratsnake. Don’t know if it’s been photoshopped into appearing a giant, but it’s clearly a Black Ratsnake.

    • Steve permalink
      May 1, 2017 7:16 PM

      That is definitely NOT an anaconda… what a moron…

  5. Kazuuru permalink
    March 7, 2014 12:43 PM

    You should read a bit about snakes. Dogs and heavy weights kill more people per year.
    The one int he pic does look like a eastern rat snake, so other people are correct on that. Now, if it was a escaped pet, do not be mean. Just like a dog or cat, it is loved by someone, so put yourself in their shoes.

    Big constrictors are good pets for those that can support their needs. They are not monsters.

  6. kylie permalink
    March 7, 2014 5:48 PM

    Wow. This is fucking stupid. I just love people who freak out about snakes. If only people reacted the same way about birds they would see how dumb they are. “oh shit there’s a bird that’s an invasive (non-native) species to this area, lets kill it. Totes badass.

  7. Byron permalink
    March 7, 2014 9:22 PM

    Boy is this a CLUELESS article.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    March 7, 2014 11:34 PM

    what an asshole to snake owners.just because you couldn’t handle a snake that large doesn’t mean we are all 5. not a python btw.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    March 8, 2014 1:34 AM

    I see that /r/snakes has arrived.

    In all seriousness though, there’s no reason to go out and kill animals of any kind. You have nothing to fear from Boas so long as you use common sense.

  10. Anonymous permalink
    March 8, 2014 3:02 PM

    That snake is a rat snake, just like was suggested. And it is a native. And it is NOT 18 feet long. It cannot eat your cat. Or your dog. Or your kid.

    It absolutely blows my mind that someone was allowed to post this “article” on the internet without any kind of fact checking whatsoever.

  11. May 17, 2014 2:46 PM

    That is a picture of a Black Rat Snake, notice the pattern on it’s back. Looks like stars. I just caught one on my front porch yesterday.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    June 17, 2014 11:06 AM


  13. Anonymous permalink
    July 13, 2014 10:51 AM

    Has this thing ever been found

  14. Dorian permalink
    March 14, 2016 2:00 PM

    Black snakes can get that long we have one in our horse barn he is now 12 ft long

  15. Chris permalink
    August 28, 2017 11:02 AM

    There is NO WAY that is a Black Rat snake! First of all, they usually only get 2″ in diameter and that snake is easily 4″+. Yes, they can reach 6′ in length but not to that girth. That’s just absurd based on the photo. Also looking at the head of that snake it screams python of some type. Considering how much environmental destruction they are responsible, blow that sucker away with a shot to the head.

  16. Kenneth Black permalink
    October 5, 2017 6:05 PM

    If I found something like this in my yard it would have a bullet in it’s head rather than let it go and it kill someone’s pet or worse a child

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