A photo of a beautiful and unbelievable snake with bright gold skin has circulated online for years. Is this golden snake real or a hoax?
The Photo was Altered for an Online Contest.
This impressive photo editing was done for a graphics contest on worth1000.com called Alternate Materials: Gold, Adding the Midas touch which took place about seven years ago. The goldn snake photo ranked second among a field of many impressive entries.
“Mandrak”, the contestant who created the gold-textured snake, can take pride that his creation has become something of an urban legend, often circulated by internet “fact” pages as a real creature.
Below you can see the gold image, and the original photograph from which it was altered:
The golden snake photo began circulating in late 2012 with a new caption, attempting to clam that this is a real, rare snake. This caption reads:
Golden Snake is only found in thick dense Amazon forest. Only less than 10 is estimated to be alive. It’s saliva, venom and skin contains 24 carrot pure Gold. One strike from a Golden snake could kill you within 5 minutes. Many have disappeared, after setting into the forest in search of this snake.
Real Golden Snake
Although the golden color of the snake shown above is not real, there are real “golden” snakes, such as the deadly golden lancehead, which populate Queimada Grande Island, or the Snake Island. That island has the highest concentration of venomous snakes in the world, including an estimated 2,000 – 4,000 golden lanceheads.
The photo of a “golden snake” is not real. It is a digitally altered photo for an online graphics contest on worth1000.com that took place about six years ago. Gold colored snakes do exist in nature, however.
Revised December 7, 2015
Originally published September 2012