Well, I will without a doubt be having nightmares tonight after watching this video of a massive python suffocating and swallowing a deer.
The clip definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, and it is especially for those weird snake people who like to have pythons and anacondas as pets. People who willingly bring invasive species into different environments aren’t my favorite type of people, but they are my least favorite type of people.
This python in the video is in its natural habitat of a Sri Lanken national park, and one could say that it is “thriving.” On the other hand, the sambar deer that is suffocating in the tight clutches of the coiled up python could be described as “dying,” and then “dead” later on in the 14-minute hellscape of a video.
The video was first uploaded to YouTube back in 2015, and has since garnered over 8 million views, showing that we humans have a weird interest in morbid animal videos like this one. When the footage first picks up, the overwhelmingly large snake is wrapped up around basically every part of the deer, who is still somehow managing to cling on to life.
Once the deer finally goes down, the python gets to work pretty fast, spreading its jaws around the deceased animal’s head and beginning the slow, laboring process of swallowing the deer whole. I’ll be honest, there are many “look away” moments, especially as the python extends its mouth and body to mystifying lengths to continue working down the deer.
Somehow, after a good 12 minute battle to get all the way from the head to the tail of the deer, the python finally achieves its goal of downing the entire animal. As the video backs away and pans out to see the entirety of the snake, the deer coming to rest in the middle part of the snake’s spread out body is truly remarkable.
Did I enjoy watching this video? No, I did not. But did I watch the whole video for some reason? Yes, yes I did.
And if you are like me, you are asking yourself “so what’s next for the snake with the big ass deer stuck inside its body?” It seems like it would be pretty agonizing for a python to consume something like this, and as it turns out, snakes like this sometimes explode when they eat animals whole.
If they avoid exploding (would the cause of death be gluttony?), then they quickly begin to digest and break down their meal, bones and all. BBC describes the process as:
“Once the animal is in a python’s stomach, its digestive system, which shuts down in between meals, suddenly kicks into hyperdrive.
This involves a sharp increase in their metabolic rate, their organs enlarging by three or four times their normal size and the release of enzymes to break down the food.”
Still has to be to pretty uncomfortable for the snake, I don’t care how fast the “enzymes” are working…
And the craziest part about the whole video is that the python is still able to slither around afterwards with the deer secure and digesting in its stomach. It’s certainly moving around a lot slower than it normally would, but still moving around nonetheless.
I’d imagine that the closest we get to feeling what this snake is feeling is post-Thanksgiving meal (which is coming up sooner than you may realize). I think how I feel as I struggle to stand from the table, with a stomach full of turkey and dressing, and make my way slowly over to the couch to fall asleep watching football is as relatable as I’ll ever get to this python.
Anyways, watch this video if you feel brave enough to handle it, and if you don’t think that you can “stomach” it (pun intended), you’ll probably watch it anyways.