The 5 Largest Movie Snakes and Their Real-Life Equivalents

Animals That Molt - Reticulated Python
© Mark_Kostich/

Written by Brandi Allred

Updated: May 27, 2023

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Key Points:
  • King Cobra‘s monster star is a 30-foot genetically engineered hybrid of a king cobra and an eastern diamondback rattlesnake — two species that are nowhere near 30 feet long in real life.
  • In the film Anaconda, the movie snake measures 40 feet long and constricts its way through a documentary crew. In real-life, anacondas can only grow up to 17 feet long.
  • Boa, a direct-to-video horror sci-fi film, features a giant man-eating boa constrictor that is 80 feet long and one of the largest movie snakes ever. Boas in real life have a maximum length of 14 feet.

If you’re into snakes, movie monsters, or just creature features in general, then you’re probably dying to know about the largest movie snakes of all time. Here, we’ll cover the five biggest snakes ever to hit the silver screen and learn about their real-life equivalents. You might be surprised to learn that not all the snakes on our list are giant snakes in real life. In fact, some of them aren’t even 10 feet long!

Buckle in to learn about the five largest movie snakes and the real-life snakes they’re based on.

5. King Cobra (1999)

One of the lesser-known but still interesting movies about giant killer snakes is the film King Cobra. King Cobra has one of the largest snakes in cinema, but it’s not just any snake. The star is actually a genetically engineered hybrid of a king cobra and an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. This monster snake (of course) goes on a killing rampage, using all of its 30 feet to hunt down the film’s characters.

Real-Life Equivalent: King Cobra and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

King cobra in a tree

Both king cobras and eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are huge snakes, but they’re nowhere near 30 feet long in real life.

©Sibons photography/

The monster snake in King Cobra is a combination of the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) and the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). King cobras are the longest venomous snakes in the world, they can grow up to 19 feet long. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are the largest species of rattlesnake and may grow up to 8 feet long.

King cobras are native to south and Southeast Asia and highly venomous. They can flatten their neck ribs to form the famous cobra hood like all cobras. King cobras mostly eat other snakes but will also consume lizards and rodents.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are native to North America and also highly venomous. Like all rattlesnakes, diamondbacks feast on rodents, birds, lizards, and occasionally smaller snakes. They’re known for their distinctive rattle, as well as for their unique diamond pattern.

4. Anaconda (1997)

The movie Anaconda began as a single horror movie based on giant killer snakes. It quickly grew into a film franchise of five feature and TV films, all based around the same snake: the anaconda. In the film, the movie snake measures 40 feet long and constricts its way through a documentary crew.

Real-Life Equivalent: Green Anaconda

Green Anaconda Underwater

The green anaconda,

Eunectes murinus

, is the star of these action-packed films.

©Vladimir Wrangel/

Green anacondas, also known as giant anacondas, are the heaviest snakes on Earth. They’re also among the longest snakes around. These constrictors can grow up to 17 feet long, and weigh more than 200 pounds.

Green anacondas are native to much of tropical South America. They’re semi-aquatic and spend most of their time in or near fresh water. They even strike prey from beneath the water’s surface. Green anacondas eat everything from fish, lizards, and birds to capybaras, caimans, tapirs, and deer.

3. Mega Snake (2007)

Monster snake film Mega Snake was made for TV and filmed in Bulgaria. Unlike the rest of our largest movie snakes, this monster actually has a name: Unteka. Unteka starts out as a tiny snake in a jar, but through human negligence, it soon grows to 70 feet long.

Real-Life Equivalent: Rhinoceros Viper and Boa Constrictor

River Jack Snake or Rhinoceros Viper

One of Unteka’s main features is a hornlike set of scales on the tip of its nose, resembling the




One of the largest movie snakes out there, Unteka has no clear species inspiration. The snake uses both venom and constriction and also has hornlike scales on its nose. The closest comparable real-life species are the rhinoceros viper (Bitis nasicornis) and the boa constrictor (Boa constrictor). Rhino vipers grow to only 4 feet long, while boa constrictors can reach 14 feet in length.

2. Boa (2001)

Also known as New Alcatraz, Boa is a direct-to-video horror sci-fi film starring, you guessed it, a giant man-eating snake. This particular movie monster is one of the largest movie snakes ever. The snake in Boa measures 80 feet long and spends its time killing all the residents and guards of an Antarctic prison. Boa’s prehistoric snake is the second-largest movie snake on our list.

Real-Life Equivalent: Boa Constrictor

Best Pet Snake option - boa constrictor

Boa constrictor, commonly known as the red-tailed boa, or simply boa, is a very popular pet for snake enthusiasts.

©Natalia Kuzmina/

The snake in the movie Boa is based on the real-life boa constrictor. Boa constrictors aren’t the biggest snakes in the world, but they certainly grow to a respectable size. The boa constrictor grows to a maximum length of 14 feet and may weigh more than 50 pounds.

Boa constrictors are native to South America, where they spend much of their lives high in the trees. These snakes eat mainly rodents, like mice and rats, but won’t say no to lizards, frogs, monkeys, ocelots, or even wild pigs. Boa constrictors are non-venomous and give birth to live young.

1. Python (2000)

On the heels of Anaconda came the horror-comedy, made-for-TV Python. This film centers on a genetically engineered, 129-foot-long python that spits acid. Python has three sequels, each of which also features giant, man-eating snakes bent on consuming every human they come into contact with.

Real-Life Equivalent: Reticulated Python

Biggest Snakes: The Reticulated Python

The reticulated python is a popular choice for horror movies featuring giant snake monsters.


The star of the movie Python is a monstrous, genetically mutated reticulated python. In real life, reticulated pythons really are enormous, but they’re not quite as big as the movie snakes. Reticulated pythons are the longest snakes in the world. They can grow up to 22 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds.

The reticulated python is native to Southeast Asia and lives as far west as India. It lives in a variety of habitats, including rainforests and grasslands, and spends a lot of time in the water. Like all giant snakes, the python kills by constriction. Young reticulated pythons eat rodents like rats and tree shrews. As they get bigger, their prey gets bigger too. Adult reticulated pythons can kill and eat wild pigs, deer, primates, and civets. 

Summary of 5 Largest Movie Snakes and Their Real-Life Equivalents

Here’s a recap of the five biggest movie-star monster snakes and how they compare to real-life snakes:

NumberMovie (Year)Movie SnakeReal-Life Equivalent
1Python (2000)Genetically engineered 129-ft-long python that spits acidReticulated Python, maximum length: 22 ft
2Boa (2001)80-ft-long boaBoa Constrictor, maximum length: 14 ft
3Mega Snake (2007)Unteka, grows to 70 ft longRhinoceros Viper, maximum length: 4 ft; Boa Constrictor, maximum length: 14 ft
4Anaconda (1997)40-ft-long AnacondaGreen Anaconda, maximum length: 17 ft
5King Cobra (1999)Genetically engineered, 30-ft-long hybrid of a king cobra and an eastern diamondback rattlesnakeKing Cobra, maximum length: 19 ft; Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, maximum length: 8 ft

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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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