Today I received an e-mail describing a tale of mortal combat between a lizard and snake in Cloud Break, Arizona. The text of the e-mail reads, "These pics were taken by one of the road crew at Cloud break, Arizona last week. It took a total of 5 hours for the King Snake to finish off the Goanna. (Sand Monitor) As you can see, they put some signage up so it couldn't be run over."
What really happened though, is that a creative but lazy jokester has taken a series of pictures of a lizard and a snake from Australia and changed the location specified in the accompanying text, perhaps to scare their neighbors. I'm going to guess they're from, oh..I don't know...Cloud Break, Arizona? I can't actually find information about this town, does it really exist?
Our first clue is the mention of a goanna, which do not occur in North America. You may recall Paul Hogan eating one in Crocodile Dundee (although he didn't like the taste). Maybe whoever altered the e-mail didn't know this. But, at least they were aware that Black-headed Pythons can't be found in Arizona, so they changed the species to a Kingsnake, which do occur in Arizona and look superficially similar to the python in the picture.
Black-headed Pythons can reach about eight feet long, much bigger than Common Kingsnakes can; their large size makes them well equipped to eat large lizards such as goannas. Kingsnakes also like to eat other reptiles, although none as large as the goanna in the picture.
If you're interested in learning about what snakes can really be found in Arizona, check out this site. Information about Arizona's lizards can be found here.
10.8.11-Multiple commenters have noted that this picture was taken near the Cloud Break mine in Pilbara, Australia.