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What We Know About This Viral ‘Snake Cat’ Image


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In March 2023, a message spread on social networks with the above-displayed image that allegedly revealed “the rarest feline types on Earth.” After numerous Snopes readers asked us to examine the authenticity of the post, we discovered there is no proof the animal is genuine.

On Facebook, this was the message that users were copying and pasting, and appeared in addition to the “image” of the animal:

Serpens catus (snake cat) is the rarest feline types on Earth. These animals reside in difficult-to-access areas of the Amazon jungle, which is why they are reasonably little studied. The very first images catching the snake cat appeared in 2020! A mammal that weighs as much as 4 kilos and reaches 50 centimeters in length. The animal is practically untamed, although some Amazonian people utilize snake cats to safeguard their houses from rodents.

The image likewise spread out on TwitterTikTok and YouTube.

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When searching to confirm the image, we just discovered different social networks posts sharing it. There were no reliable reports from news publications breaking the news about researchers allegedly finding the types.

“The cat is certainly not genuine,” Drexel University postdoctoral scientist Lukas J. Musher composed when we connected through email. “There are numerous lovely South American felines, however none appear like this.”

The declared taxonomic name for the animal likewise does not seem genuine. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System, which is a U.S. federal database of types’ taxonomic names, did not include an entry for “serpens catus.”

The image’s origins are unidentified, since this writing. Paleos, which utilizes social networks to promote science to the public, published on its Facebook page that the image is phony and created by expert system (AI). We connected to Paleos on Facebook to find out more, and we will update this post if the group reacts.

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The viral image aside, cat snakes are a genuine kind of snake, called for the shape of their eyes.

One type is the mangrove snake — which, like the feline at the center of the viral message, is black and yellow. That snake is primarily discovered in southeast Asia, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

However, aside from the comparable colors, the 2 appearance absolutely nothing alike. The mangrove snake is a black snake with yellow bands throughout its face and body, while the viral image revealed a black cat with yellow areas. The mangrove snake’s taxonomic name is boiga dendrophilalikewise far from the declared taxonomic name of “serpens catus.

As far as the claim about the black-and-yellow cat being “the rarest feline types on Earth,” the World Wide Fund for Nature has actually composed that the Amur leopard might have that title. Found mainly in Russia and China, there are just about 120 grownups on the planet.

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The copy-and-paste message is an example of what we call “copypasta.” We’ve reported prior to how viral copypastas spread out on Facebook, consisting of how they have actually assisted spread out incorrect claims about the Uvalde school shooting, gas costs, and more.


“Amur Leopard: The World’s Rarest Cat?” WWFAccessed 15 Mar. 2023.

Cat Snake | Reptile | Britannica. Accessed 15 Mar. 2023.

Dapcevich, Madison. “Did Uvalde Shooting Victim’s Mom Write Viral ‘Chicken Soup’ Poem?” Snopes8 June 2022,

Evon, Dan. “‘A Whole Lot of Truth’ (and Some Misleading Info) About Gas Prices.” Snopes24 June 2022,

Facebook. Accessed 15 Mar. 2023.

ITIS Standard Report – Error. Accessed 15 Mar. 2023.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. “16 Misleading (or False) Examples of ‘Copypasta’ Messages.” Snopes26 Feb. 2023,

Liles, Jordan. “Facebook Posts About Homeland Security Memos and ‘Hacked’ Cellphones Are Misleading.” Snopes28 Mar. 2022,

“Mangrove Snake.” Smithsonian’s National Zoo22 Sept. 2017,

SNAKE CAT (İLAN PİŞİYİ). 15 Mar. 2023.

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