Ranked: The 5 Largest Snakes Ever on Earth

Written by Megan Martin
Published: September 15, 2022
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The Earth is home to a variety of unique and surprising super-sized creatures. The top five largest snakes ever on Earth are no exception! While not all are still found in the wilderness today, these five snakes are the largest of the large – and you’re going to meet them! Ready to learn more about some of the largest snakes ever? Let’s dive in!

5. African Rock Python

African rock python in the water
The African rock python can grow up to 19 feet!

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Although they’re the smallest on this list, the African rock python is one of the largest species of snakes. In fact, they’re so large that, proportionally, they could swallow a human whole! There are two subspecies of African rock python found on the continent. They’re identifiable by their dark brown base and light brown or caramel markings. Since they are constrictors with no venom, they also have a unique body shape. This includes a thick head and body that tapers into a thin tail. This provides them with the strength they need to constrict their prey.

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On average, the African rock python only grows between 9 and 12 feet long, and will only weigh up to 125 pounds. However, some individuals can grow even larger! The largest African rock pythons can grow to be up to 19 feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds.

4. Amethystine Python

Scrub python on a tree branch
The largest amethystine pythons can be around 27 feet long, although the average is 10 -20 feet.

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Not many people have heard of the amethystine python. However, they’re the fourth largest snake to ever exist on Earth. They also happen to be the largest native snake in Papua New Guinea. In recent years, there has been some discourse about what is a subspecies of the amethystine python and what isn’t. As a result, while they were once also considered the largest snake species in Australia, scientists now believe that this snake isn’t found there at all. Adult amethystine pythons can grow to around 27 feet. However, this is fairly rare, with most amethystine pythons reaching between 10 and 20 feet long.

3. Green Anaconda

Biggest Snakes: The Green Anaconda
The Green Anaconda is a massive constrictor which can weigh 500 pounds!

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There’s a notable gap in size between the African rock python and the green anaconda. In fact, the green anaconda is more than double the size of the African rock python!

It’s actually taken scientists some time to learn more about green anacondas. However, now we know more about everything from what they eat to their size! These supersized snakes are native to South America, where they’re some of the largest snakes on the continent. They can grow to be up to 30 feet long and weigh more than 500 pounds! That’s around the same as an adult female polar bear. Like all five of the largest snakes on Earth, the green anaconda doesn’t have venom. Instead, as a python, it’s a constrictor that uses its large weight and size to hunt its prey.

2. Reticulated Python

reticulated python
The reticulated python is the longest snake in the world today.

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While the reticulated python isn’t the heaviest snake in the world, it is the longest. There are currently three subspecies. Reticulated pythons can grow up to 20 feet long, if not longer, and weigh hundreds of pounds! Earlier, we mentioned that the African rock python could eat a human based on its proportions. The reticulated python, however, actually has been recorded to attack and even eat people on two separate occasions.

1. Titanoboa

Titanoboa on grassland
The prehistoric giant snake Titanoboa is estimated to have reached 50 feet long.

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The largest snake ever on Earth is one that you can’t find anywhere. Existing around the time of dinosaurs, the Titanoboa is one of the largest creatures ever. They could grow to be nearly 50 feet long and weigh over 2500 pounds. That’s around the same size as the Hollywood sign!

The only known species of Titanoboa is the Titanoboa cerrejonensis. It was alive around 58 million years ago, just after the dinosaurs’ extinction. Although their size and power make them apex predators, researchers believe their main food source was fish. Titanoboa lived in what is known as present-day South America, with remains being found in Colombia.

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Although twin spotted rattlesnakes are small they are venomous
Twin spotted rattlesnakes are venomous from the day they are born.
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About the Author

I'm a writer with almost five years of experience. I recently graduated from Wingate University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a double minor in biology and professional and technical writing. I love everything animals and nature related! The American kestrel is my favorite animal, but I also like sharks and alligators. In my free time, I like to watch documentaries and explore nature.

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Sources
  1. Nature, Available here: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07671
  2. Journals, Available here: https://journals.ku.edu/reptilesandamphibians/article/view/15504/14058
  3. A-Z Animals, Available here: https://a-z-animals.com/blog/discover-the-largest-rock-python-ever-found/