Car Eating Snake Revealed. In Theory.

David C. Holzman
by David C. Holzman
car eating snake revealed in theory

Twenty-eight massive serpents were found in an open pit coal mine in Colombia, by a team led by Jason Head of the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Luckily for the researchers (unluckily for the producers of Jackass), the snakes had been dead for nearly 60 million years. Titanoboa cerrejonensis, could have swallowed my old gen-1 Saturn or a Mazda Miata. Snakes can devour beasts that are roughly as massive as they are, and the 42-45 foot long snake weighed around 2,500 lb. fully grown, roughly equal to the aforementioned machines. Or 500 lb. more than a Lotus Elise. At almost five times the weight of the green anaconda, the world’s heaviest living snake, Titanoboa’s diameter would have been greater than the height of said Elise.

Snakes are cold blooded, and cold blooded creatures are limited in their maximum size by average ambient temperature, which is part of what makes Titanoboa so amazing. Extrapolating from the snakes’ immensity, researchers now think that the Columbia of 58-60 million years ago would have simmered away at an annual average of 86-93°F, hotter than previously thought, and way hotter than the 75-79°F that is normal in today’s tropics. Until now, it was thought that such beastly temperatures would inevitably broil up a desert. Now we know the tropics could survive a warming world, giving Nature its revenge: snakes once again big enough to consume your car. Talk about bad karma . . . .

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  • Dzwax Dzwax on Feb 17, 2009

    psarhjinian: Well done. Sadly, not everyone will understand what it is you're saying.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Feb 17, 2009
    psarhjinian, so according to you everyone on this list is not a respectable climate scientist because they don’t fall for all the hype, and believe their own research and common sense instead. Did you read the credentials of these people? The top three who actively dispute the theory are two geographers and a chemist. No climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers or fluid dynamicists in the bunch. Some of the stronger dissenters are nuclear physicists and petroleum/chemical engineers, which is tantamount to a cardiac surgeon or economic PhD. having an opinion. Did you also read what they're saying? Not all of them are entirely against the concept---only the first three. Did you also note that none of these people have a published, peer-reviewed study to back up their words? Did you even note that there's only a handful of people on that page, while the membership of the IPCC is an order of magnitude larger at least? You're making the mistake, or deliberately choosing to misinterpret the scientific community, in the fashion I noted above, by listing a handpicked group of people, and then piecing out set of very specific statements frm them to drum up the idea of fundamental disagreement within the scientific community as to the root cause when in fact no such disagreement exists. Scientific consensus is not subject to courtroom-style histrionics or gonzo journalism. Climate-change deniers need to understand this before dredging up links from Google.

  • Qusus Qusus on Feb 18, 2009

    Great stuff Holzman. And psarhjinian, just stop it man. Stop it. You'll never convince me global warming is anthropogenic and not caused by the giant microwave dish satellite Al Gore keeps in North Dakota that I saw in my dreams once (and if you google "giant al gore satellite" you get 111,000 hits so don't tell me it doesn't exist when Google says otherwise). Also, I bet you never even saw Snakes on a Plane, so don't you DARE make references to it. Jerk.

  • Danger_Mouse Danger_Mouse on Feb 19, 2009

    psarhjinian, I don't dispute the existence or global warming, nor do I dispute the existence of global cooling in the 70's or the warming in the 40's or the cooling in the 20's. What I do have trouble believing is the cause and effect that everyone tries to make based on limited facts or limited window of facts. Many climatologists that I've heard/read specify that based on the last 10 years of data, we are in a dire situation, but if you look at the last 100 years of data, it's just a natural cyclical temp variation. I'm NOT saying we should be irresponsible with our natural resources or be bad stewards of the land we inhabit, but we need to KNOW the cause and not guess based on limited facts and data sets. Global warming is occurring, but in 20-30 years, we'll be back in a global cooling period.