Northern green anaconda head. Image: Professor Bryan Fry/The University of Queensland.

World’s largest snake: This snake could swallow you WHOLE!

The Amazon rainforest hides a giant: the world’s largest snake. This new anaconda species can grow up to a shocking 7.5 meters long.


Northern green anaconda head. Image: Professor Bryan Fry/The University of Queensland.

Scientists in the Amazon rainforest have made a shocking discovery: a new species of giant anaconda that’s now the world’s largest snake! This massive serpent grows up to 7.5 meters long and weighs an astonishing 500 kilograms.

What are Anacondas?

Anacondas are enormous snakes that lack venom. Instead, they subdue their prey with powerful constriction and often live in or near Amazonian waters. Until recently, scientists knew of four anaconda species, with the green anaconda being the largest.

New Anaconda Species Revealed

Cutting-edge research reveals a surprise: the green anaconda is actually two separate species! Though they look almost identical, significant genetic differences exist.

“To put that into context, we’re about two percent different from chimps,” explained study co-author Brian Fry in an interview with National Geographic.

An Expedition into the Amazon

Researchers discovered this new anaconda species during an expedition deep into the rainforest. Fry explained, “Our team received a rare invitation from the Waorani people.

They asked us to explore the region and collect samples from an anaconda population rumored to be the largest in existence.” The Waorani, an indigenous group, consider anacondas sacred.

Capturing the Giants

The researchers worked with the Waorani people, safely capturing several of these colossal snakes across the Ecuadorian Amazon. Fry expressed their amazement: “These magnificent creatures were incredibly large.

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One female anaconda we encountered was an astounding 6.3 meters long!” The dramatic expedition was filmed for an upcoming National Geographic series.

Anaconda Species Split Millions of Years Ago

Analysis of blood and tissue samples, along with close study of the snakes’ physical features, showed a clear divide between anacondas in different parts of the Amazon.

Scientists estimate that the species split roughly 10 million years ago. The newly identified species is called the northern green anaconda (Eunectes akayima), while the other is now the southern green anaconda (Eunectes murinus).

Conservation Implications

This discovery has major implications for conservation. The green anaconda was previously considered a species of “least concern,” but the northern green anaconda has a smaller range, making it far more vulnerable.

As the world’s largest snake, it faces threats from deforestation, mining, forest fires, and climate change. Understanding this unique species is key to its protection.