February 20, 2009
The photo, allegedly taken by a "member of a disaster team monitoring flood regions" from a helicopter above the Baleh river on the island of Borneo, is claimed by local villagers to depict the mythical 'Nabau' snake, which is said to be more than 100-feet long with a dragon's head.
The photograph shows a snake-like object in a blackwater river surrounded by jungle, but appears to be doctored since the color of the Baleh is brown, not black, and there are signs of photoshopping of ripples on the water surface. The scale is also off — the "snake" appears to be several hundred feet long based on a size comparison with the surrounding trees.
Photo of the alleged 'monster snake'
The world's longest snake is generally recognized as the reticulated python, while the heaviest snake on record is a Burmese python. The anaconda of South America occasionally vies for the title of largest snake. Earlier this month researchers announced the discovery of a 45-foot-long prehistoric snake from Colombia. The species, named Titanoboa cerrejonensis ("titanic boa"), lived more than 50 million years ago on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles.
Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is famous for its rainforests which house orangutans, pygmy elephants, proboscis monkey, and the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. But these are increasingly threatened by logging and conversion for oil palm plantations to produce palm oil. Forest cover has dropped from nearly three-quarters in 1985 to less than 50 percent today.