From a 1970s Peace Corps manual (via outstanding travel writer Robert Young Pelton), "How to survive an anaconda attack."

1. Do not run. The snake is faster than you are.
2. Lie flat on the ground, put your arms tight against your sides and your legs tight against each other.
3. Tuck your chin in.
4. The snake will being to nudge and climb over your body.
5. Do not panic.
6. The snake will begin to swallow your feet first.
7. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.
8. When the snake has reached your knees, reach down, take your knife, slide it into the side of the snake's mouth between the edge of its mouth and your leg. Quickly rip upward, severing the snake's head.
9. Be sure you have your knife.
10. Be sure your knife is sharp.

You're welcome. For further information please consult the documentary Anaconda starring Ice Cube and Tebagging legend Jon Voight.


  • My favorite is step 5: do not panic. Thanks! Next time I need to allow an anaconda to devour half of my body before decapitating it I'll be sure to stay real calm.

  • zarpada pagina! me encanto la nota sobre sociopatas y lameculos.
    saludos desde argentina!!!


    (yeah, argentinian, can you belive it?)

  • Knife or no knife, I'll take my chances running away, and hoping the snake settles for something (or someone?) slower.

  • Dumb advice. First, if the snake attacks you, it will be an ambush situation, and it will likely latch onto a limb with its teeth and immediately start constricting. Second, there was a case of a python that attacked its owner and the snake continued to squeeze even after it's head was nearly severed with a butcher knife. Constrictors will continue squeezing until it is 100% sure its victim is dead.
    What people who work with big snakes do when an attack occurs is to have a squirt bottle of alcohol at hand. If they can reach the snake's head they shoot or pour the alcohol into the snake's eyes. Snakes don't have eyelids and like most predators, freak out when their eyes are being fucked with. Even plain old water worked in one case.
    As for swallowing people, the snake would start at the head, and since humans are so weirdly shaped compared to most animals, it would run into trouble once it reached the shoulders, and have to quit. Unless it was really big- c. 30'+ long.
    This information brought to you by the Nat Geo channel and my friend Matt, who owns a 4' Boa Constrictor.

  • Thanks. I'm adding this to my slowly building list of ways to survive animal attacks.

    1. Alligators – Zig zag. They can out sprint you, but they can't turn. Of course this only works on land, so really the key is don't be in the water with an alligator big enough to kill you.

    2. Sharks – Punch that fucker in the nose and gouge it's eyes.

    3. Bear – You can kick a black bears ass. Seriously, they're pussies. Brown bears…play dead and hope it doesn't kill you. If it's a kodiak/grizzly, you're fucked. Should have carried a shotgun.

    4. Mountain lion – if you see it, it's decided not to kill you. If you don't see it, and it wants to kill you, good luck because I don't really don't have any advice for handling the 100 cat on your back that will be attempting to decapitate you.

    I think this pretty much covers large North American predators. Am I missing anything?

  • zach: interestingly, black bears have killed more people than any other bear species on this continent, as i understand it (and one speculation was that it was because people didn't see them as quite as dangerous). i'm curious about where you heard that they were pussies.

  • Lie still while the snake starts to swallow you? Fuck that.

    I imagine the writers responsible for the visual abortion that is Anaconda spent a lot of time snorting paint fumes and high-fiving each other. I can buy the premise that John Voight could be a snake hunter who speaks with some half-ass dialect-nonspecific accent and that some rapper with the acting ability of a grapefruit could be outsmarted by the aforementioned Voight yokel, but I'm pretty sure J Lo's ass makes her anaconda-poof, so right there: INCONCEIVABLE.

  • I think Zach forgot to include rutting white tailed deer attacks on that survival list he's compiling. Think that's funny? well,I saw it on "When animals attack" on the TeeVee.

  • 1. J lo – Earmuffs and your handy survival version of Ben Affleck which should be carried on your person at all times. Just a note: you may be creating a survival situation outside my realm of expertise. The vacuous stupidity in the combined forces of Ben and JLo may be enough to create an intellectual blackhole. Be sure to vacate the area after deploying Survival Ben Affleck. You have been warned.

    2. Sasquatch (Rush Limbaugh) – Easily distracted by prescription narcotics and whores. Keep a pocket full of oxycontin and hydrocodone, and an inflatable woman. And if you never see Rush, at least you'll be loaded 24/7 and never lonely.

    3. Wolves – I am disappointed I overlooked this one. Probably not much of a concern now that they've been de-listed from the Endangered Species Act. If you're attacked, just get within a few feet of a rancher's property. They'll enthusiastically dispatch your attacker, I'm sure.

  • From one who grew up in an area with bears….. 1) Don't run because they'll outrun you. 2) Make yourself big (i.e. put your hands above your head). 3) Slowly back away. 4) If the bear attacks, fight like hell. Punch him in the nose. Do NOT play dead or the bear will have you for lunch.

    But this is all moot anyway. None of these commentators are likely to see an anaconda or a bear. Modern man's experience with nature is now virtual: we watch Discovery channel, we play Farmville on our iPhones, we read really interesting blog posts about what it might be like to actually be in nature.

  • Based on my own extensive research on The Great Outdoors, the best method for dispatching a bear is a shotgun that has been converted into a rustic lamp. Apparently the lamp shade works to funnel the shot in such a way as to perfectly shave the fur off of the bear's ass, forcing the animal to run away out of a sense of sheer embarassment.

    You're welcome.

  • Anacondas roasted over coals are quite the crowd pleaser among many Amazonian tribes. That would be a hell of a bratwurst!

  • It always amazes me how people believe these emails about 'nature'. As someone who works with wildlife I receive these occasionally and I have yet to find a single one that is at all factual. The photoshopped pictures are very entertaining sometimes though. The best was some goofy one about not getting seawater in your mouth because it is full of whale sperm. It had a picture of a whale shark (i.e. not a whale) with a photoshopped whale penis on it (sharks don't have penises as such) and some bogus stats about the size of whale ejaculates. For those who are worried about oceanic sperm I would forget the whales. Almost all fish (with the exception of sharks) practice external fertilization (spray and pray). Even more alarmingly (if you're a twit) is the fact that almost every surface in the ocean is covered in sessile organisms enthusiastically releasing their gametes into the water on the chance that two of the right variety will meet.

    Anyway Anaconda attacks are so rare it would be stupid to waste space in a survival manual about that. Better to spend it discussing how to avoid malaria or lightning strikes or pirates or something. Also snakes usually swallow prey head first but sometimes make exceptions. And, any able bodied person can outrun any snake. Fast ones top out at 10 clicks or so and then only for a few seconds. If you are thigh deep in water and muck and kick an Anaconda then you can't outrun it so just hope it swims away (they aren't hungry that often anyway)

    About bears – Grizzlies are much more dangerous than Black Bears. If there is any truth to black bears being responsible for any attacks that would just be a matter of statistics – There are a lot more Black Bears over a much larger area that overlaps with much more human activity. As for playing dead vs yelling and screaming and looking tough vs not being a stupid asshole – I suggest not being a stupid asshole. If you sea a Black Bear at a reasonable distance then just say "hey bear" or "holy shit, a bear" or something and wave your arm – it will run away or ignore you. If you surprise a bear for god's sake, don't yell and jump up and down (what would you do if some creep jumped out of the bushes and screamed at you?). Just back away slowly. If a bear charges (highly unlikely, especially with a Black Bear), stand your ground (no yelling). They will usually break off. Then you back away. If it doesn't break off and instead knocks you down roll over cover your face and neck. It will probably give you a couple swats and then back off. If it persists or starts to eat you then fight back.

    There has only been one reasonably confirmed case of a fatal wolf attack in north america in the last 100 years that I am aware of (actually only a couple of years ago).

  • I thought the way to survive an Anaconda attack was

    1. Bring along a Teabagger "friend"
    2. When snake appears, convince "friend" that said snake Bill — Obama's Health Insurance snake
    3. Shout Kill the Bill until your "friend" attacks the snake
    4. Snake wins it will eat your erstwhile friend and not you, Teabagger wins, you can have some snake burger. It's a win-win proposition, and you don't need to keep your knife sharp

  • As someone who lives in an area with high black bear population, I can confirm MattK's advice. If you see the bear before it sees you, yell, wave your arms, wave your coat if you have one, bang some objects together to make noise. It will decide that it doesn't want to deal with you, and go elsewhere.

  • I'm reminded of the advice given to Alaskan wilderness hikers.

    Guide: "First, wear bells to let the bear know you're around and carry pepper spray to drive it foff if necessary. Second, learn to identify bear scat, so you know what kind of bear it is. Black bear scat is brown and about so large"

    Hiker: "What does Kodiak Bear scat look like?"

    Guide: "About twice as big as black bear. Plus it often contains bells and smells like pepper spray."

  • Anyone who thinks that the three North America bear species are black, brown, and grizzly is too ill-informed to be offering advice.

    We do have three bear species.

    black bear : may be any color from coal black to light brown.
    If you're in the contiguous 48 states and not in Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming, the bear you're seeing is a black bear. Smallest of the three species. Muzzle from forehead to tip of snout is a straight line. Except for sows with cubs, timid. MattK's advice is good. Omnivorous opportunists. Generally the biggest danger from black bears is that they'll damage your car/trailer/tent/cooler/cabin trying to get to the food they can smell inside. Summer backpackers in California's Hetch Hetchy or Toulomne Meadows areas expect to have to chase black bears out of their campsite every night of the trip; this makes a great story when the trip is over.

    grizzly : may be any shade of brown with lighter long guard hairs; the extinct California subspecies was almost yellow. Giant Kodiak "brown" bears are a local race of grizzly. Dished shape of forehead/snout line is diagnostic. Seldom found far from wilderness. Dangerous, unpredictable; some of them will attack seemingly without provocation; some of them will occasionally kill and eat people. Dangerous to livestock. Best strategy is to make noise so they know you're in the area before they see or smell you. (Bear bells don't make a loud enough noise — personally, when hiking in Glacier, I practice my yodeling.) In contiguous 48 states, grizzlies remain around Glacier Nat'l and Yellowstone Nat'l parks and connecting areas — settlers and farmers killed them off everywhere else. Common in parts of Canadian Rockies, coastal Alaska and around Denali.

    polar : lives in Arctic and along Hudson's Bay.
    huge white with black nose. very dangerous carnivores.
    Stay the hell out of Moose Factory in the spring, and try not to look like a ringed seal.

  • MattK – never heard that about whale semen. I _have_ read that seawater is chock full of viruses of various sorts. Also bacteria, diatoms, and the larval form of more kinds of invertebrates than I could name.

    In short, yum.

  • Oh yeah. Didn't mention polar bears. Everyone I know (including grad students) that works in Polar bear country caries a shotgun and has to be certified to use it (the certification is just part of the regulations for carrying the gun, not some bear specific boot camp training). I don't know anyone who actually had to use a gun but I'm dealing with a small sample size. People I've talked to about it generally just leave when a bear is sighted in the area.

    Oh and I meant to say "more attacks" rather than "any attacks" in the post above. There are certainly occasional black bear attacks. In the last one I heard about a bear was running between two houses while being chased by a big dog and a woman was in the way. The bear just ran over her but she still needed quite a few stitches (ca. 70 or something). Not sure if I would call that an attack. More like a collision.

  • Oh, thank you so much. See, I have been sleeping so well the past few weeks that some terrifying dreams involving snakes, black bears, mountain lions, and alligator attacks will add some excitement to things, you know, liven it up a bit. Fabulous!

  • MattK – that reminds me. I explained to my bright 13 year old that there are two ways of looking at the world –
    first, you can see it as a huge machine for killing you, that will one day succeed, OR as a huge machine for keeping you alive, that will one day fail.

    My advice to him was that, while both models are false, the second one is more useful.

  • The snake sufficates its victims before it swallows. So by lying down you're allowing it to kill you pretty much. Best bet just fucking kill the thing with you knife as soon as u get a chance…

  • All snakes swallow all prey head first. Otherwise the limbs will become stuck and the snake will die.

  • I like step number 9. If you were in this situation, wouldn't you want to make sure you had your knife before it started swallowing you whole?

  • Okay yeah, if you've read the Darwin Awards, it explains how innacurate this is. 10-1, the snake will start with your head, and then youre screwed.

  • Yep, this goes in my "Advice least likely to be taken" file along with – "When attacked by a shark attempt to punch it on the nose" or "When attacked by a bitting dog plunge your hand into its mouth and pull on its tongue". To quote the survivor: "It doesn't matter how fast I the animal can run as long as you can run faster than the man next to you"…

  • Stumbled. Got a chuckle out of this. Completely inaccurate (not just the article, but the comments aswell), but still funny.

  • Threads like this make me hope that in the future science develops the ability to distill a sense of humour into a serum and distribute it amongst the masses.

  • The only one I know that's not already here: How to Avoid Being Killed by Stampeding Bulls.

    Okay, they're not predatory man-eaters, but nobody wants to get trampled by a bunch of them anyway.

    The thing to remember is that stampeding bulls operate on a follow-the-leader, mob mentality. Your best bet is to appear to jjoin the herd and run parallel (or almost parallel) to them. If they notice you at all, they'll most probably think "Hey, looky there. Another bull," and leave it at that.

    Standing still or trying to outrun the leader is a good way to get mowed down. If you run parallel, eventually they'll leave you behind and forget all about you, and you'll be left with a good story to tell.

  • @Zach: The best chance you got against a grizzly is to wait until they stand on their back feet and roars (if it decides to do that). Then kick it in the nuts and run downhill. Because of its short rear legs and the pain in the crotch, you could probably survive a minute or two longer :D

  • Zach, you're kind of an idiot. It's true that alligators can't turn very quickly, but they're one of the oldest killing machines and they're not exactly dumb. If you're zigzagging like a fool trying to get away, they will just take a straight path and eat your ass.

  • If and when an Anaconda starts to eat you,it will start at your head and you will already be dead from the constriction.Meaning you will have been asphixeated,and most of your bones will have broken during the constriction process.I saw a documentary where tests were done using pressure sensors in a goose carcass,and there was over5000 lbs of pressure exerted during the constriction.They also don't let up until there are no signs of life at all, regardless of how long it takes.Anaconda's don't eat live prey.

  • laughing at work says:

    This has been some of the best response/elaboration ever on a site like this, good work, i have been reading and laughing for, like, fifteen minutes waiting for my carpool to get done with his damn work.



  • First of all this is obviously a joke not to be taken seriously, notice how he calls anaconda a documentary?

    About Alligators and crocs, is they WON'T chase you. they lunge and they sprint, if you have time to see and run they won't bother, not because they can't chase you it just is in their nature to make a single or two lunges and then not, they arn't used to chasing humans, more like gazelles and such that can easily outrun them

  • This has been some of the best response/elaboration ever on a site like this, good work, i have been reading and laughing for, like, fifteen minutes waiting for my carpool to get done with his damn work.



  • Dear Ed,

    When the hell are you going to put up a PayPal button so I can thank you for the daily entertainment you provide??

    Thank you.

  • Cherie –

    I'm sorry, but if you didn't pick up on the massive amounts of ridiculous hyperbole in either of my posts, I'm really doubting the legitimacy to your claims of my idiocy….

    One can only hope that Lara's prayed for serum comes sooner rather than later.

  • Let this be a lesson to you, Ed- never believe anything Pelton says. The man has zero morality and loyalty only to himself.

  • Cherie –

    I'm sorry, but if you didn't pick up on the massive amounts of ridiculous hyperbole in either of my posts, I'm really doubting the legitimacy to your claims of my idiocy….

    One can only hope that Lara's prayed for serum comes sooner rather than later.

  • Tribes in central and south america have been using this tech. to catch snakes for a long time. i watched a man do this one time in belize while hunting for anaconda, he would hang his leg in the water until just the right time and give a yell. we would grab him and pull him out of the water and sure enough there would be a snake on the end of his leg. we would then have to pry this snake off this guys leg cause they would sale them alive in the local market. some of the crazyiest stuff I've ever seen!

  • Angie bucket says:

    What the hell! Man someone got to be stupid to lay flat and let a snake try and swollaow their foot . And to let a snake get on top of them.

  • davidbarger says:

    you bitches should ask my girlfriend or your own mothers how to survive an annaconda attack because i slam those tricks on the daily. i am a crunk ass thug. nobody has as much swag and visciousness as me.

  • It would be better to let the anaconda finish eating you, and then get your knife out and rip open the fucker! You can come out of the anaconda with your best macho face and everyone around will love you forever.

  • If you survive the initial "squeeze" (which is not likely) the snake will swallow from the head down so the arms fall flat to the sides and so do the feet. From the feet up, the feet and arms get hung up. Read up on attacks on humans by big constrictors. It's always the head down.

  • Ah, the Peace Corps, of by and for liberals. Who else would fall for that kind of crap. It doesn't need to be accurate – it just needs to sound good.

  • I am probably the only person on this site who can say they have any personal experiences with self defense against a grizzly bear. Me and my dad were hiking in the Canadian Rockies when a bear came charging out of the brush. Luckily we carry guns. My 45-70 and my dads 12 gauge together had to put about 3 rounds each into the bear before it laid dead about 10 feet from us. Scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I also learned that my chocolate lab helped us a lot by barking his head off and somewhat distracting the bear. When the game wardens got in site we found the reason for the attack. My dad, my dog and I had put ourselves in between the bear and a dead elk. You wouldn't believe the questions you have to answer and analyzing they do of the dead bear before you can have your guns back. You have to prove it was shot in self defense in which case we had and easy case but still. Almost made us wonder if we would have been better off mauled.

  • Nobody mentioned the wild & dangerous moose knuckles! They can trample your garden snake & swallow them whole! Beware, very deadly!!

  • to catch an anniekhonda put a pig inside a big cage…the anniekonda goes inside and swallows the pig whole..then it is to fat to come back out thru the bars of the cage,, think thats howe they katchit in da jungle for real.

  • Tim Hanrahan says:

    This is a steaming pile of horse shit, no constrictor eats feet first they all start with the head, any other angle indicates a retarded snake. the best sure fire way to avoid being attacked by an anaconda is to eather run! or better yet, dont piss it off in the first instance.

  • Anacondas are constrictor snakes. they will break your bones before they devour you legs. you won't be able to bend down and cut their head off because they will either be wrapped around you, are broke you spine and ribs.

  • allyourbasebelong2us says:

    all these ideas were ripped off from the chuck noris hand book. YOU ARE NOT CHUCK NORIS! Thus attempting any of these techniques will probably get you killed.

    by the way chuck noris only wrote the book because he was bored and wanted to explore new ways to dominate everything he does.

  • this solution is better if the snake is hungry ,but if not , you will be in a big problem try to run run run llol

  • Good sharing of concept here in whatever way thank you for posting valueble information..before I really could thank allowed coment on your blog, I get plenty of information within you, If only I really could be even more information of your stuff .

  • the Tymeister says:

    YO! I think the best solution would be to just carry a freakin' ax and hack away at the thing

  • Assuming all large constricting snake attacks will be slow and polite enough to allow you to lie down still and will start consuming you from your feet up, this is great advice.

    Seriously though, this is fucking terrible advice.

    Semi entertaining though.

  • An anaconda will usually constrict its prey, even if it finds it dead or alive, just to make sure its dead before it eats it whole.

    plus I think the first steps to surviving an anaconda attack would be to have your sharp knife first, cos when it gets up to your knees, your fucked if you realise its in your other trousers.

    though if that does happen and you feel you want some revenge, just grab the tail of snake and make it start swallowing the tail, as once they start the swallowing process they cant stop and you will have your last laugh.

  • I agree with the run method, I believe that @zach has the best ideas and every handbook should be based off his knowlege. TEAM ZACH.
    keep up the great work.

  • Zach is my hero and most of you guys are well-written and knowledgeable. Not to mention funny! Thanks for the entertainment (not so much towards the end of the thread though).

  • The most important tip for surviving an anaconda attack is avoiding one all together. Coming into contact with an anaconda is one of the worst nightmare I can imagine.

  • laughin my head off says:

    I got some really cool and useful info here.I also got entertained!Damn I havnt laughed this much in days!Keep up d good work.plz I'd love to have access to more of ur blog posts .

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