This Titanoboa Monster Snake is the largest snake discovered ever.
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some misinformation.
This is a message circulating with the picture of a monster size snake named Titanoboa, claiming it as the largest snake ever discovered. Although the picture that comes with the message is not real, the claim about Titanoboa is a fact!
Discovery of Titanoboa
In 2009, researchers discovered fossilized vertebrae and ribs from 28 individual snakes in an open-pit coal mine at Cerrejon, northeastern Colombia. The scientists estimated that the snake lived 58 to 60 million years ago and was 12.8 meters long (42 feet), weighing 1,135 kilograms - making it the largest and biggest known snake in the world. Study on this discovered vertebrae's structure suggested that the snake was closely related to the boa constrictor, because of which the team named the species as - Titanoboa cerrejonensis, or 'titanic boa from Cerrejon'.
The modern pythons and anacondas, which are thought to be the largest living snakes generally do not exceed 6-6.5 meters, which means the Titanoboa was almost twice as long as the largest snake alive today. According to Harry Greene, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell University in New York, Titanoboa is really spectacular and is the largest snake ever confirmed.
Studies suggest that Titanoboa looked like a boa constrictor, but hunted like a crocodile. Before this discovery of Titanoboa, Gigantophis was thought to be the biggest prehistoric snake, measuring 33 foot long and weighing thousand pounds. Gigantophis lived approximately 40 million years ago in the southern Sahara region, where Egypt and Algeria are currently situated.
About the Picture of Titanoboa
Although the message conveyed in the story is a fact, the picture is not real; it is simply a model of Titanoboa snake that was developed by Smithsonian Institution, a group of museums and research centers administered by the U.S. government. In March 2012, the Institution installed this 48-foot-long Titanoboa model in Grand Central Station, one of the busiest commuter rail terminals in New York. This exhibit was meant to scare the hell out of people and also to promote an upcoming Smithsonian TV special program - "Titanoboa: Monster Snake." You can watch the full documentary about the Titanoboa Monster Snake in the video shown. The last picture of monster snake shown in the image section below, a popular art, is in fact reconstruction of this Titanoboa cerrejonensis.
It is interesting to note that many people who saw the giant picture of snake above thought that the story of Titanoboa could be hoax. This is because hoax stories around biggest and largest snakes keep circulating very often. You can read few of them below.