Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Giant ‘jiboia’ snake in Brazil

Reader José Paulo Grandal, from Pará, Brazil, found and kindly sent us (thank you!) the scan of the photograph of a seemingly enormous Brazilian snake. The scan is from a copy, and the embedded description on it reads something like:

“This is a ‘jiboia’ snake of which only part appears. It has approximately 48 meters [sic] and was found on the ‘Jari’ Lake, Pará state, where some people say there are no Big Snakes. On 11/10/1949“.

The original photograph has the description (with the same information) written on the back, as Grandal tells. And even he doubts the size ascribed to the snake, which looks immense because of perspective.

But it does look like an extremely big one, there are no clear signs of tampering that I could see, and Grandal even asks for tips on how to better preserve the original photograph, as the writings on the back are already fading.

I hope someone is interested on better analyzing it, perhaps a more accurate size estimate is still possible.

UPDATE: Herpetologist Chad Arment, from Strangeark.com, kindly informed us that the “snake photo was originally published (per Newton’s Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology) April 28, 1949, in the newspaper A Provincia do Pará, credited to Joaquim Alencar. The snake was alleged 45 meters, and was found on the Rio Abuna (Acre State). There’s been a fair bit of confusion over the details over the years, and different lengths have been reprinted along with the same photo at different times. The locality details printed on the photo sent to you appear to be another variant.”

As to the size of the animal, “there is, unfortunately, no way to determine the length of the snake from the photo itself”, Arment explains. “And I don’t see any visual clues supporting an extraordinary length in the anaconda”. As Craig York also noticed, the snake could be very close to the camera and its apparent size would be just a perspective trick.

Its actual size could be big, but not extraordinary.

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Posted in Criptozoology,Fortean | 3 comments

3 Comments so far

  1. craig york April 29th, 2008 8:58 pm

    Big, probably, but “extremely big”…maybe not. I can’t help but notice the water in the foreground of the shot is
    out of focus, and remains so under most of the text. This
    suggests that the subject is within a meter or less of the camera. Thats based on a nodding acquaintance with photography,
    and this is one of those instances where I would really
    want to be proven wrong. You might drop a line to Chad
    Arment at http://www.strangeark.com/ . I have a lot of
    respect for his work, and he recently published an extensive
    work on out-size snakes in North America. He’s also a
    herpetologist by profession, so I think this would be right
    up his street.

  2. Mori April 30th, 2008 3:17 am

    Thank you for the comments, Craig! I’ve just dropped Arment an email.


  3. that dude November 22nd, 2008 11:25 pm

    It’s a normal sized anaconda that died, most likely on the bottom of the body of water shown, and after filling with all manner of unpleasant decompository gasses, it floated to the top. This is basic “floater” theory. A chinook salmon who dies underwater will fill with gas and float to the surface, appearing much bigger/heavier because of extreme bloating.

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