‘How big should a snake be?’ Is probably one of the oldest philosophical conundrums proposed by man. For me, a snake should be no longer than the span of my fully outstretched arms. You might have a different view on this. One thing I think we can all agree on is this: No snake should be over five metres long. It just shouldn’t happen.

Unfortunately, the natural world doesn’t operate according to the whims of human beings, it does its own thing. And thus, this big beastie exists:

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and naturePictured: More than enough snake for anyone. (Source: Big Cypress National Preserve)

That big, beautiful woman is a Burmese python caught last week in the Big Cypress National Preserve, a very big swamp about 70km west of Miami, Florida. The huge female python pictured was measured at over 17 feet long, weighing over 60 kg and containing 73 developing eggs.

The python was found using a new program that researchers have been undertaking where they attach FM transmitters to male Burmese pythons, which lead them to breeding females.

Burmese pythons, as you might guess from the name, are an invasive species to the US, and researchers in the preserve are working to control their number in the area.

Back in 2005, park rangers in Florida found a 13-foot Burmese python that had exploded after trying to swallow an alligator less than half of its size. Nature! It’s fucked up!

Image: Big Cypress National Preserve