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Snake Swallows Man! (Analysis)


More of this Feature
Part 1: 'This Is for REAL!!'
Part 2: Snake Food
• Part 3: Tabloid Tales
Part 4: Rare Phenomenon

BEFORE JUMPING to the conclusion that whoever captioned the preceding images knew what they were talking about, consider that what you have just

read is only one of many variants of the email in circulation. Each tells a slightly different story.

Another version, otherwise identical to the first, claims the incident happened in Venezuela. Still another says it occurred in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Another specifies the locale as the Philippines.

The victim's identity is as variable as the setting. Often the person swallowed by the snake is said to be an oil worker, sometimes a hunter, sometimes a camper, and, in at least one case, a child:

Apparently, three boys were sleeping in the jungle in South America when the other two woke up, one was missing and a huge snake was laying next to them. You'll see the snake in the first two photo's with the boy inside and the third one is when they cut the snake open to reveal the boy. You have to see this..... Unbelievable...


The variant below, contributed by a reader in March 2001, claims it "really happened" to a hunter camped out in the Brazilian rain forest:

Unbelievable but true

Just remember .... things could always be worse.

Be careful when you go camping.

This really happened In Brazil...Three Locals went hunting in the forest and did the usual during the day, they went to sleep. When they woke up the next morning, one of the guys was missing...

The other two searched for their missing friend and when they ran across this anaconda with a huge lump..... well they caught the anaconda and took it to town since they feared that their friend was the victim. Surprise: it was!

He was swallowed in one piece by a 17 FT anaconda. That's not a way anyone wants to go.


Here is a version set in Singapore, claiming that the victim is a "military guy" who, we're told, spent a horrific night in the jungle with two buddies who never saw him again -- not alive, anyway. (Note the suggestion at the end that the serpent may have bitten off more than it could "chew.")

This is scary. Ok, this is unbelievable. The story goes that 3 military guys in Singapore were spending the night in the jungle. When they bedded down at night there were 3 of them, when they awoke in the morning there were only 2. The 2 remaining men did not hear or see what happened to their partner during the night. The following photos show a python. They found it nearby. It was having trouble moving...


Or it could have really happened to this camper in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas -- a state where, as we all know, everything is larger than life...

THE STORY IS THESE TWO GUYS WERE CAMPING IN PALO DURO CANYON OR SOUTH AMERICA, MAYBE. ONE OF THE GUYS WOKE UP IN THE MORNING AND HIS BUDDY WAS GONE. HE SENT FOR HELP TO FIND HIM, THEY FOUND THIS SNAKE INSTEAD. PICTURES 1&2 ARE OF THE SNAKE WHEN THEY CAUGHT IT. AND 3 IS WHAT THEY FOUND WHEN ThEY CUT THE SNAKE OPEN, THE MISSING BUDDY!!


Tabloid tales

A more detailed account of what is supposedly happening in these photographs comes to us via the Weekly World News, a tabloid newspaper renowned for such earth-shattering scoops as "Ape Gives Birth to Human Baby" and "JFK Was Shot to Prevent Him From Revealing Truth About UFOs." According to an article in the July 25, 2000 issue, the victim was actually Pakistani tourist Amjar Bukhari, who was swallowed by a boa constrictor and spent "12 to 15 horrifying minutes trapped in the serpent's belly before workers at Nairobi National Park [Kenya] sliced open the enormous snake and rescued him."

"We sliced open the snake's belly and a pair of human legs tumbled out," one of the rescuers is quoted as saying. "At first we thought the man was dead -- then I saw his foot twitch and we quickly hauled him out." The story says Bukhari survived, believe it or not, with a couple of fractured ribs and "minor burns from the snake's stomach acid."

The fact of the matter is that the Weekly World News version of the story is no more credible than the others. Historically, the paper's editors have exhibited a fondness for "snake eats human" stories, with no evident regard for their veracity. WWN published two such items during the early 1990s, each illustrated with the same World War II-vintage photograph of a python bulging with freshly consumed prey, and each telling a completely different story. One claimed the victim was a Japanese scientist; the other stated that the snake had swallowed six human babies. The truth -- as another, unpublished photograph from the same shoot revealed -- was that the snake had recently fed upon a small deer.

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