Even though snakes do not eat very frequently, they do not go hungry. Actually, the word “feast” as we know it is like a joke to many snakes around the world, and the phrase, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse,” would not even be an exaggeration if said by certain snakes.
When snakes get hungry, they rarely hesitate, and usually ambush the first thing they find, regardless of how inconvenient or difficult it may be to swallow. Because of their voracious appetites and lack of reasoning skills, they have been found consuming some pretty interesting meals.
Once snakes begin to swallow, very rarely do they do stop, despite the complications that may arise.
Snakes are very dependent on their senses to find prey, so if their senses become impaired, sometimes they can make mistakes. If a snake does end up making a mistake on a meal choice, it will likely persevere until it has disappeared into its belly anyway.
Snakes have been found after swallowing some senseless, strange and downright impressive things. Ranging from a full-grown alligator to golf balls, here is a list of the most unbelievable things ever consumed by snakes.
In Australia, pythons are native, and there is a significant population of them. People in the area have often gotten free entertainment by watching them feed. Imaginably, seeing pythons strike, crush and swallow their prey can be quite a sight.
Sometimes when pythons feel like taking on a challenge, the show can get even better. In the land where kangaroos are also plentiful, a hungry python decided to give bystanders a show to remember.
After ruthlessly coiling around and crushing the kangaroo, the slender reptile had to make quite an impressive stretch to begin consuming it. The jaws had to widen drastically to fit around the kangaroo, which appeared to have a greater mass than the predator itself.
For hours, people watched as the python struggled with its dinner. After it was finally done, the python had a meal worth bragging about, and the audience had an interesting story to tell.
In Georgia, a three-foot python found itself in a heavy situation after consuming what it thought was a light dinner. After sneaking into a chicken house to score some eggs, the snake was surely disappointed to end up with four golf balls stuck in its system instead.
The snake was in immediate digestive stress, and upon discovery of the poor creature, a farmer took the python to a nearby wildlife sanctuary.
The veterinarian who took in the snake was very surprised to hear of the situation, and to see that the snake was still alive. With four heavy, indigestible golf balls tightly stuck in the snake, it wouldn’t have much of a chance unless something was done quickly.
Without a doubt, the golf balls had to come out in order for the snake to survive, so the team of veterinarians immediately performed surgery on the reptile. The snake, which they named Augustus, made a healthy recovery after the procedure and was returned to its home just a few weeks later.
The veterinarians were surprised to see that a snake had made such a mistake, and curious how. It was considered that since the incident occurred so close to chickens, the golf balls may have taken on the scent of the chickens, confusing the predator.
In Idaho, a pet Burmese python named Houdini ate one of the most shocking things on the list. A queen-sized electric blanket was entirely swallowed by the twelve-foot long reptile, leaving it in a very uncomfortable and dangerous situation.
The veterinarians were confused by the predator’s attraction to this blanket, but knew for certain that it would need surgery immediately. The snake would never be able to digest or pass such an object.
An electric blanket was obviously a very bizarre meal choice for the python, so the owner assumed that it must’ve somehow became tangled up with the rabbit that he had fed to Houdini.
With the blanket taking up nearly eight feet of space in the snake’s body, an eighteen-inch incision had to be made to remove it during the surgery. Even though the veterinarians admitted that they had never before operated on snake, the procedure went swimmingly, and Houdini made a swift recovery from the incident.
Chicken eggs are commonly seen as a very appetizing meal to snakes. To medium-sized snakes, they are easy to locate, snatch and digest.
Though in the rare cases that the eggs found by the snake are made of ceramic, the meal is not so ideal, and actually indigestible.
A five-foot black rat snake that found itself in such a situation was very lucky to be picked up by a good neighbor. With a solid, ceramic, indigestible egg in its system and no way to excrete it, the snake was beginning to feel the stress.
Soon after its discovery, the snake was taken to a wildlife center, where a specialist was referred to perform an immediate surgery. The surgery, which took hours and was high risk, had a successful turn out. The snake recovered swiftly from the procedure and hopefully learned a valuable lesson.
Ceramic eggs, like the one swallowed by this snake, are often left in chicken coops to encourage the chickens to lay eggs. The egg was said to have been noticed missing a few days before the incident, meaning the egg may have been in the snake’s system for days before the removal.
Large constrictor snakes and crocodiles are two of the most deadly and ferocious predators in the wild. Since they can be similar in mass, it is quite a sight when one becomes prey to the other.
In Queensland, an unsuspecting passerby came across an unforgettable show. It was a fight between a large water python and full-grown crocodile, and which would win was unclear throughout.
After quite a lengthy rampage, the python eventually overtook the crocodile, and the show continued as it began to consume its kill. Imaginably, the consumption of a full-grown crocodile by a snake was not an easy one.
It took hours, but the dedicated python was finally able to put the crocodile away, as well as thoroughly disturb a few witnesses.
Electric Light Bulbs
Chicken coops are like a restaurant for snakes. Hosting both chickens and eggs, they attract snakes of all sizes.
Though snakes have sharp senses to help them find prey, there are quite a few things in a chicken coop that can complicate things. Since the chickens move around their coops quite a bit, their scent and warmth sticks to many surrounding objects.
In Gainesville, Florida, a four-foot pine snake made a painful mistake not only once, but twice. The small snake was found with two uncomfortable lumps in its body, which were identified as two fifteen-watt electric light bulbs.
Though they were probably relatively easy for the snake to get down, the digestion part was going to be impossible. The unfortunate snake got lucky and was found and taken to the University of Florida’s College of Veterinarian Medicine.
Surgery was performed soon after the admission by doctors at the university. The doctors said that after a short recovery time, the snake would have a bright future and soon be returned to its habitat.
In a few very odd and disturbing cases, snakes have actually been discovered eating themselves. With a long body and thinning tail, it is perfectly feasible for them to begin the process.
Snakes are known to seek out prey by using their keen senses, but the reptiles can actually become disoriented somewhat easily. When this happens, their senses can work against them.
One report of this happened in a local pet store. A customer witnessed a snake, which was residing in a small body of water in its tank, beginning to close its mouth around its tail. After a few moments, when blood was drawn, it was obvious what was happening to the poor snake.
The snake was able to get quite a bit of itself into itself. The cringe-worthy situation was as intriguing as it was disheartening.
As cold-blooded creatures, if snakes find themselves in an uncomfortable temperature with no way to cool off, it will cause them extreme stress and possibly confusion.
In one unbelievable case, a snake was found dead after consuming an entire full-grown alligator. The four-meter python was found in pieces with a two-meter alligator in its belly.
Experts on the scene were confused by the incident and began to formulate theories. Though it was not conclusive, many experts agreed on the theory that the snake simply began to split after swallowing a meal that was too large for its digestive system.
Trying to contain a meal that was nearly half its length and beyond its width, obviously presented a challenge for the python. Likely close to the weight of the python, it is not surprising that the snake had issues after eating this animal.
The alligator was found nearly in-tact, protruding out of a hole in the center of the python’s destroyed body.
Snakes are the epitome of having eyes bigger than their stomachs, and with anacondas, the limitations are few.
In Brazil, a green anaconda was found in the process of consuming what was believed to be a full-grown cow. Though green anacondas can reach an enormous size, a cow is still far larger than ideal prey for them.
Even with very flexible jaws and a voracious appetite, the anaconda still struggled greatly with swallowing the meal, and eventually regurgitated the large mammal.
Though many stories that have been passed around the web about man-eating snakes have since been debunked, one story that tells of ten-year-old boy being swallowed by an African rock python still seems to hold up.
In Durban, South Africa, friends of the snake’s victim reported that they rushed to the treetops for safety as a python entered the area they were playing in. The children then watched in horror as the snake consumed their friend, who unfortunately did not make a quick enough getaway.
Humans are not usually targeted by this breed of snake, but food is food. If hungry enough, a small, helpless child may look like an easy kill and decent meal to any python.