Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another Giant Rattlesnake Picture (from Texas/Mexico) Doing the Rounds

"Supposedly killed in Roma, Tx."

"Fwd: 13.5 foot South Texas rattlesnake - Yikes !!! Next door to Dave Rogers Ranch in Hidalgo County"

"13.5 foot South Texas rattlesnake - Yikes !!! This is not the kind of snake you want to challenge. 13 1/2 feet long."

I received three different e-mails about this rattlesnake back in September but I just never got around to posting about it. Apparently it is now getting a lot of attention on Reddit accompanied by the following information:

"Giant Rattlesnake killed at my grandparents ranch in Mexico".

This picture and the accompanying information have all the trademarks of a Giant Rattlesnake Hoax (should I copyright that?):

1. Multiple versions of the photograph exist claiming the snake is from various locations.

Roma, Texas is in Starr County, not Hidalgo County (although both are in south Texas). And obviously Mexico is not in Texas at all.

2. The snake is being held towards the camera on a long pole  to make it appear longer than it really is, a camera trick I explain in great detail here

3. The snake in the picture is claimed to be larger than any rattlesnake than has ever been measured in the history of the world/rattlesnakes.

For what it's worth, the snake in the picture looks to be a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox. This species does occur in southern Texas and Mexico, but the largest ever found was around seven feet long. That's about half the size of the imaginary number attached to the photo. Don't believe it.

So, we can confidently conclude that the information associated with this picture is bogus without even examining whether the photo was altered in any way. Please provide a link to this blog wherever you see the photo!

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