11 of the Thickest Snakes in the World (One is 44 Inches Thick!)

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: April 7, 2023
© Nynke van Holten/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points:

  • Measuring snakes by weight, length, and girth is not an exact science.
  • The green anaconda is the thickest snake on Earth, with a girth of 43.7 inches. It’s also the heaviest snake in the world, weighing up to 500 pounds.
  • The Burmese python is the world’s second-thickest snake, with a girth of 43.5 inches and is about as thick as a telephone pole.
  • The reticulated python is the longest snake in the world and has a girth of 33.5 inches.

Some snakes are skinny like a garden hose; others are thick-bodied snakes requiring multiple people to hold (if, for some reason, one wanted to hold one!). But how big are the thickest snakes? Can a snake really get to be 100 pounds? Can a snake weigh 500 pounds? Although measuring snakes by weight, length and girth is not an exact science there does seem to be some agreement that there are at least 11 species of snakes that weigh more than 50 pounds. Let’s look at 11 of the thickest snakes in the world (one is 22 inches thick!).

Biggest Snakes: The Green Anaconda
The green anaconda is the thickest and heaviest snake on the planet.

©Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

11. Papauan Python: 25-50 pounds

Olive Python
The Papuan python is a thick-bodied snake that can weigh 50 pounds.

©Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

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The Papauan python or olive python is one of the python species that can be found in New Guinea. Pythons in general are one of the thickest snakes in the world with anacondas getting to be just a tad bigger. One interesting feature of the olive python is that it can change colors when it gets agitated, similar to chameleons. The largest olive pythons tip the scales at 50 pounds and can get to be 5-6 feet long.

10. Cuban Boa: 25-60 pounds

closeup of boa striking
Cuban boas are only found on the island of Cuba. This thick snake can reach 60 pounds.


The Cuban boa constrictor is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ by the IUCN and can only be found on the island of Cuba. It is the largest snake in Cuba with some getting to be 60 pounds. They have a tan base color with dark brown markings along their back. The average size is 5-7 feet but some have been recorded to be nearly 16 feet long.

9. Dark-Spotted Anaconda: 25-66 pounds

Anaconda Face - Anaconda
The dark-spotted anaconda can get to be 66 pounds and 8 feet long.


These semi-aquatic snakes live at the mouth of the Amazon River in South America. The dark-spotted anaconda averages 4-8 feet in length but can get to be 25-66 pounds. Despite their larges size they are very good swimmers and divers. They have a tan or yellowish base color with dark black splotches.

8. Boa Constrictor: 7-10 feet, 22-100 pounds

Pet Snakes - Boa Constrictor
Boa constrictors can weigh up to 100 pounds. Some people keep them as pets!

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Boa constrictors are known for capturing prey and wrapping their body around it to constrict the prey so it dies. Then they swallow their prey whole. Sounds scary to me but some people have Boas as pets. They are definitely one of the thickest snakes in the world, as they average 7-10 feet but can pack up to 100 pounds into that length. They live in Central and South America (and in some people’s basements as pets!).

7. Yellow Anaconda: 10-13 feet, 55-77 pounds

Yellow Anaconda
Yellow anacondas have an average weight of 55-77 pounds but some can get to be 120.

©Chris Tefme/Shutterstock.com

Another big anaconda is the yellow anaconda, which averages 55-77 pounds but the largest ones have weighed in at 120 pounds. These snakes can be 10-13 feet long. Are they actually yellow? Kind of, their bellies are yellowish-green with their backs being darker. They look similar in coloration as their thicker cousin the green anaconda. They are excellent swimmers and will often drown, constrict, and then drown their prey. Yellow anacondas live in South America.

6. Amethystine (Scrub) Python: 60-110 pounds

Australian Scrub Python
The scrub python is the largest snake in Australia and can get to be 110 pounds.


The amethystine (or scrub) python is the largest snake in Australia. They also live in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Theses pythons are non-venomous and are a thick snake that ranges from 60-110 pounds. They typically do not get longer than 13 feet with an average being 6-13 feet long. One scrub python that was found in the Rainforestation Nature Park Kuranda in Queensland, Australia can be seen being held by 4 men. They estimated it weighed 50 kg (110 pounds) and they rightfully nicknamed him “Scrubby” before letting him go.

5. Indian Python: 8-10 feet long, 150-200 pounds

Biggest Snakes: The Indian Python
These pythons look a lot like the Burmese pythons but are a tad smaller. The Indian python can get to be 200 pounds!


Indian pythons can be found in India and Southeast Asia. A study in Keoladeo National Park found that 25% of the Indian pythons were in the 8 feet 10 inches to 10 feet 10 inches range. The two biggest ones they found were 11 feet 10 inches. These snakes, that look similar to Burmese pythons, can get to be 150-200 pounds!

4. African rock python: 95-200 pounds

African rock python in the water
Now this is definitely one of the thickest snakes in the world! The African rock python can get to be 200 pounds!


The African rock python is the largest python in Africa and can reach lengths of nearly 20 feet however most are closer to 10-13 feet. They are found in the sub-Saharan Africa with the ones in more secluded areas being a bit larger. Their bodies are varied in coloration with a base color of tan with mixed dark markings. Look for their triangular head with a pointed snout to tell them apart from other larger snakes.

3. Reticulated Python: 250-350 pounds, 33.5 inch girth

Animals That Molt - Reticulated Python
This python is 33 inches thick! That is nearly 3 feet around. Reticulated pythons are the longest snake in the world too.


The reticulated python is the longest snake in the world. It is also a thick snake with a maximum girth of 33.5 inches! According to the Guinness Book of World Records the longest snake ever recorded was a reticulated python from Indonesia that was 32 feet 9.2 inches long. The average length of these pythons is 20 feet and they can weigh 250-350 pounds. They live in Southeast and South Asia.

2. Burmese Python: 100-200 pounds, 43.5 inch girth

Burmese Python stretched out on grass.
Wow! Check out how thick that snake is! The Burmese Python is the second thickest snake in the world at 43.5 inches.


The Burmese python is the second thickest snake in the world with a girth of 43.5 inches, commonly referred to as the thickness of a telephone pole! They can get to be 16-23 feet long and weigh 100-200 pounds. Theses pythons live in Asia from India to China but they also have made a home in the Everglades in Florida. They are an invasive species there, taking over many of the wildlife. The heaviest Burmese python on record is one ironically named “Baby” that was 18.8 feet long and weighed 403 pounds!

1. Green Anaconda: 200-500 pounds, 43.7 inch girth

What Do Anacondas Eat - Pet Anaconda
The thickest snake in the world is the Green Anaconda. The largest ever recorded had a girth of 43.7 inches, now that is a thick snake!

©Holger Kirk/Shutterstock.com

The green anaconda is the thickest snake in the world with a girth of 43.7 inches! These are the heaviest snake in the world as well with some specimens being recorded weighing 500 pounds! The Guinness Book has the largest green anaconda being measured in 1960 from Brazil. It weighed 500 pounds, was 27 feet 9 inches long and had a girth of 43.7 inches. Here is a little fun fact, a person’s arm span, distance from fingertip to fingertip is about the same as their height. A 3 ½ foot tall kid (44 inches) could just barely give the thickest snake a hug (if they wanted to). Now that is a thick snake!

10 Friendliest Snakes in the World

Now if you did want to give a snake a hug or at least handle one, it’s definitely recommended that you pick a snake in captivity kept as a pet and check if the species is nonvenomous and can be touched without any risk of a bite or injury!

We have a list that you might find useful: the 10 friendliest snakes in the world. Topping that list is the corn snake, which could be voted “best personality” in the yearbook of snakes as they are very friendly and love to be handled. They are one of the most popular snakes to keep as pets because it’s easy to take care of them. Another option is the rosy boa, which is a smaller boa reaching about 3 feet long and has a docile temperament and enjoys being handled. If you are considering one as a pet, a rosy boa that is captive-bred will help make socialization easier. Garter snakes are one of the most common snakes in the U.S. and recommended as good pets for families with children. Check out the full list of friendly snakes here.

The corn snake is considered the most friendly snake in the world.

©Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

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The Featured Image

green anaconda on white background
Young green anaconda; this snake may reach 30 feet long as an adult.
© Nynke van Holten/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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