If you ever read at least the first book about Harry Potter, you probably remember the young wizard accidentally letting a huge snake out of its cage.
That was in fact a Boa constrictor, one of the largest snakes in the world.
The females of its kind can reach 14 feet in length.
That’s about half as long as a famous London Red Bus.
It’s one of only two animals in history named exactly the same in both common language and the scientific Latin.
The other one is the infamous tyrannosaurus rex.
Like many large, non-venomous snakes, Boa Constrictor is a peaceful giant that loves lying in the sun, doing nothing.
Even on a hunt it would rather lie in weight until its prey comes within a striking range and then swoop down on it.
Yellow Anaconda also belongs to the Boa species of giant snakes, but it’s nothing like the previous one.
It reaches 15 feet in length
Take Shaquille O’neal, put another on his shoulders and you get one yellow Anaconda, except it can’t dunk a basketball.
This beast is slow but known to be aggressive in captivity.
It doesn’t like to be around humans and can be unpredictable.
Yellow Anacondas can only be found in south america-
And i’m really thankful for that- and mostly inhabit shallow waters of river regions.
In fact, even its scientific first name, eunectes, meaning good swimmer from Greek.
Yet there’s a sinister thing about these serpents.
They’re known to eat their own kind, snake recycling- sort of.
Nobody knows how often this happens, though.
Green Anaconda is slightly longer than her yellow sister, reaching the longest of 17 feet, but at the same time it’s much heavier: it can weigh as much as a python- one and a half times its length
The funny thing about green Anacondas is that lots of people seem to believe it’s the longest and the heaviest of all snakes, while this is far from the truth.
Well, that wasn’t funny, never mind.
All across the regions where Anacondas live, there are still rumors of these snakes reaching lengths double or even triple their maximum.
And these rumors persist, although a scientist who studied over a thousand green Anacondas states clearly in his works that there should be no snake like this longer than 17 feet.
I guess people just love mysteries.
Burmese Python is opening the big six of the greatest snakes in the world.
If you ever find yourself going through a tropical marsh in Southeast Asia, make sure you’re paying attention to your surroundings.
Burmese pythons like to rest in the damp areas like that, and with their brown coloring, you’ll have trouble seeing them.
Yeah, even despite their huge size, they can grow up to almost 19 feet in length, and try not to be too scared when you see it hanging from a tree and looking you tenderly in the eye.
These pythons have what’s called a prehensile tail, a tail that’s good for climbing and hanging off tree branches.
But perhaps the most unexpected place to meet it would be in Florida, where burmese pythons were illegally imported as pets and some escaped and multiplied.
Estimates put their population at one hundred thousand now.
Remember Kah from the jungle book?
Well, meat is prototype.
The Indian Python.
Despite its name, it can be found not only in India, but also in Pakistan and even as far as China.
The snake is truly huge, reaching the length of 21 feet.
You know how i love giraffes, and this is almost exactly how tall they are.
Indian pythons also prefer damp surroundings, but unlike Yellow Endocondas, they can easily find home on dry land.
When a young python hatches from its egg, it’s almost helpless, depending on its mother to feed and protect it, but after a couple of days it becomes independent and grows to an adult in a matter of two years.
A Methistine Python, or less poetically, Scrub Python, is a gentle giant.
In Papua new guinea and Australia there are no bigger snakes than this scaly beauty.
It can grow to the enormous size of 24 feet, as proved by the Guinness world records, and weigh up to 200 pounds heavier than its neighboring kangaroo Scrub.
Pythons are pretty curious, sometimes slithering inside people’s homes in Australia, but they’re mostly harmless for humans.
Their favorite food is much smaller.
They catch rodents, bats and birds that come to streams for water.
Until then, pythons quietly lie in weight like pit vipers.
This non-venomous snake has heat sensors in the pit of its muzzle.
They help it better see warm-blooded animals it’s going to have for dinner.
African rock python
African Rock Python is one of only 11 species of its kind and it’s the second largest.
This huge brown snake reaches lengths of up to 25 feet and weighs almost like a giant panda and, unlike the previous entries on this list, it’s very serious about its meals.
A rock python can catch an antelope and eat it whole.
Even the cold-blooded crocodiles are afraid of this beast because it can easily eat one of their kind too.
In 1958 a zoologist found a four foot long young Nile Croc inside an African python’s stomach.
Hard to swallow, but it’s true.
In its homeland this serpent is held in reverence and fear, but in fact, it’s not really keen on munching humans.
Finally, the reticulated Python holds the first place as the world’s longest living snake.
The largest specimen of this kind made it into the Guinness world records in 2011: 25.2 feet in length and 350 pounds in weight.
Its name was medusa, and it lived in a zoo in Kansas City, Missouri.
An adult reticulated Python is large enough to swallow a human hole, and they are known to do that sometimes.
Mostly, though, these snakes are quite peaceful and prefer to lie down without a lot of movement.
Interestingly, although many pythons have dwarf forms that are much smaller than their full-grown cousins, reticulated pythons also have super dwarf forms too.
They’re kept as pets and only grow to a maximum of eight feet in length.
Well, that’s just so much smaller, but still longer than the average human is tall.
We’ve covered the living snakes, but what about the largest ones ever?
One of them was gigantifists, a giant snake that went extinct about 40 million years ago, thank you, and until 2009, was considered the biggest in the history of earth.
Its estimated size was reaching 35 feet.
Two such snakes could cover a cricket pitch.
Giganyphus lived in the territory that today is covered in sands, the Sahara Desert and Egypt.
At the time, it was a sea, so this serpent was a water snake.
It also wasn’t either a python or a boa, but belonged to its own separate family of snakes, which unfortunately went extinct altogether.
Yet the biggest serpent that ever existed is officially the titanoboa.
Its fossilized remains were discovered and measured in Colombia in 2009, and it made a sensation at the time.
The gigantic snake could grow to the absolute epic size: 42 feet in length, which is as big as a semi truck, and over a ton in weight.
Scientists believe such a constrictor could easily crush even the hardest of animals with its weight alone and its length allowed it to hug middle-sized dinosaurs.
But the base of its diet actually lived in the water.
The titanoboa loved fish like nothing else-
Yeah, baby, seafood.
Titanoboa also became a celebrity.
In 2012, smithsonian channel released a documentary about this snake, and it inspired lots of other movies, including, of course, monster horrors.