10 Incredible Python Facts (#9 is Truly Scary)

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: January 13, 2024
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Pythons are beautiful and deadly snakes. They can be found in the wild along with the homes of thousands of people around the world. Although they may not be as fierce or threatening as venomous snakes, pythons are still interesting.

We’re going to show you ten incredible python facts that will help you gain a deeper appreciation for these animals.

Although they are originally from Asia and Africa, pythons are commonly found throughout the world nowadays.

The Top 10 Most Incredible Python Facts

Burmese Python stretched out on grass.

Burmese

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pythons are some of the largest, most dangerous pythons.

©Yatra/Shutterstock.com

Pythons are iconic snakes that people have used as inspiration for fashion and kept as pets. Although they are originally from Asia and Africa, pythons are commonly found throughout the world nowadays. Whether you see them in the wild or a zoo, these snakes are very intriguing. Take a look at ten facts about these snakes that will help you better understand the reptiles!

10. Pythons Are Constrictor Snakes with No Venom

Mojave Ball Python Close-Up

Mojave ball pythons will begin to constrict their foes, causing their circulatory system to fail.

©Kurit afshen/Shutterstock.com

Pythons are massive snakes that kill with brute force. Like other powerful constrictors, including anacondas, these snakes will grab their prey with their mouths and wrap around them. They will begin to constrict their foes, causing their circulatory system to fail.

9. Reticulated Pythons Can Eat Fully Grown Humans

reticulated python

Reticulated pythons are large and daring enough to attack humans.

©Mark_Kostich/Shutterstock.com

In 2017, the body of a dead Indonesian man was discovered inside of a reticulated python. This was the very first case of an adult human being eaten by a snake. The chances are high that this was not the very first attack of its kind, too. Nevertheless, snake attacks of this magnitude are believed to be incredibly rare.

Interestingly, cases of children and juveniles being eaten by pythons have emerged in the past. While not all of them are true, some of them were elaborated upon enough to count as true attacks. For example, a rock python had killed and was in the process of eating a young man when it was attacked by humans. Unfortunately, the individual was dead from injuries caused by the snake,

8. Baby Pythons Survive on Their Own When They Hatch

Three baby firefly ball pythons

Once a ball python hatches and emerges, the mother leaves the eggs and the snakes are on their own, like these baby firefly pythons.

©Sanne Romijn Fotografie/Shutterstock.com

Most species of python will brood over their eggs while waiting for them to hatch. However, once the eggs hatch and the baby pythons emerge, the mother leaves the eggs. The snakes are on their own in the world, living or dying by their instincts.

7. Pythons Swallow Their Prey Whole

burmese python

Pythons have very flexible ligaments around their mouths that help them open their mouths wide enough to consume prey.

©Firman Wahyudin/Shutterstock.com

As with other snakes, pythons swallow their prey whole. They do not have large enough teeth to bite their prey into pieces. Instead, they have very flexible ligaments around their mouths that help them open their mouths wide enough to consume prey.

Pythons and other snakes do not unhinge their jaws. That’s a myth that is based on the assumption that these snakes have mammalian jaws. They have unique heads and jaws that allow their mouths to open larger than their bodies.  

6. A Concerning Python Fact: They’re an Invasive Species in the U.S.

Burmese Python

The Burmese python is able to swallow animals as large as a deer.

©iStock.com/Lunatic_67

Many types of snakes live in the United States, and we can now count Burmese pythons among them. Unfortunately, these snakes were released into the Florida Everglades by incapable pet owners or otherwise escaped into the wild. Either way, they’re here to stay.

The Burmese python does not have any natural predators in this part of the world. That means their population is growing without anything to keep them in check. These snakes can grow about 20ft in length and over 200 lbs.

They are already harming the ecology in the state of Florida. Regular hunts are conducted to reduce their numbers.

5. Two Irula Tribesmen from India Caught 27 Pythons in Florida in Four Weeks

burmese python swimming

There is a yearly sanctioned hunt in Florida to help eliminate the invasive python.

©Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock.com

In 2017, over 1,000 snake hunters went to Florida to wipe out as many Burmese pythons as possible to get a cash prize. Those 1,000 hunters managed to eliminate 106 of the snakes during that time. However, two Indian men from the Irula tribe also entered the competition.

During that same month-long hunt, the two men, both in their 50s, caught 27 pythons! One of the snakes they caught was 16ft in length! In India, the Irula people are noteworthy snake catchers that often work with venomous snakes to help gather materials for antivenom and research.  

4. Pythons Can Live for 40 Years or More

Ball python (python regius), Beginner and popular snake for kids, Snake eggs.

According to birth records, the oldest ball python was 47 years old and lived in the Philadelphia Zoo.

©Creative Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com

Snakes can have some difficulty surviving in the wild. It’s rare to find a wild python over 20 years old. Nevertheless, pet snakes can live for quite a long time. For example, several ball pythons have survived past the age of 40 with proper care!

According to birth records, the oldest ball python was 47 years old and lived in the Philadelphia Zoo. Another snake is estimated to be 63 years old and was living in St. Louis as of 2021!

3. Reticulated Pythons Are the Largest Scientifically Measured Snakes on Records

Reticulated Phantom Platinum Python on white background

It’s possible that the longest-confirmed snake ever is actually a reticulated python.

©Hilmy Prasetyo/Shutterstock.com

The largest anaconda measured about 33ft long and weighed 880 lbs. However, that data was not independently measured and confirmed by scientists. Thus, it’s possible that the longest-confirmed snake ever is actually a reticulated python.

One of them was properly measured since it was kept in captivity, and it measured 25.2ft. The snake was aptly named Medusa. Another snake that measured 26.25ft was found at a construction site but soon died. Some estimates claim that the upper limit of python length is 30ft.

Paradox calico morph Ball python (python regius) on black floor background. Image of beautiful snake for exotic pets or reptile keeper. Amazing pattern on snake skin.

Ball pythons are very easygoing snakes with many color variations and a relatively simple diet.

©Krisda Ponchaipulltawee/Shutterstock.com

Snakes make for great pets. They’re largely independent with a little care and they look cool. Some of them even seem accepting of their owner’s handling! Ball pythons are very easygoing snakes with many color variations and a relatively simple diet. Also, owners don’t have to worry about venom or the snake growing too large to handle! For all these reasons, ball pythons are the most popular pet snake!

1. Pythons Come in a Vast Number of Colors

The champagne ball python is a beautiful morph.

©iStock.com/Florian DENIS

Due to their popularity as pets, many python colors have emerged in recent years. Over 50 ball python morphs have been discovered for this breed! If you can think of a cool color combination and pattern, you’ll probably find it on these snakes!

Pythons are inherently fascinating because they can be somewhat laidback pets or fierce hunters depending on their species. Unless you’re in their natural range in Asia and Africa, you probably won’t see one of these snakes in the wild. Of course, you may see one if you go into the wilderness in Florida, but these snakes prefer to stay hidden.

Now that you are more informed about this snake species, you can understand why some people fear it and why others love it!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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