Gents, I had to pass this on. There is currently a spate of emails floating around purporting to show a 15 foot long Eastern diamond back rattlesnake that allegedly weights 170lbs. The snake is real. The specifics are not.
Monster snake, yes? Well yes it is. But according to hoax slayer it is "only" 7'3" in length. What gave it away as a hoax to me was a fifteen foot Eastern would be a world record times two. Also, there is no way it would weigh seventy pounds. Let alone one hundred and seventy. Still. If you look at the size of the serpent's fangs you get the idea these are naught to fool with.
I only bring this up since spring has sprung in the U.S. and the snakes are coming out of winter hibernation. People have this incredibly silly notion that venomous snakes from America do not pose a real health hazard. Please, do not fall for this. Yes, most of our poisonous snakes would rather be left alone but do NOT make the mistake of thinking these things cannot kill you. They can. But what is worse is the crippling effects of their hemotoxic venom.
You see, while the cobras, mambas, boomslangs, and Fer de Lance get all the press, the most sophisticated venom delivery in snakes comes from our American rattlesnakes. Most neurotoxic snakes bite you and chew which releases venom into your wound. They cannot control their venom and it comes out and into you whether they want to or not. Our pit vipers are different. With their folding, hypodermic fangs, they can can give you no venom, a dribble, from one fang but not the other, or worse case, a full load from both fangs. It is incredible to find that many snake bites here are "dry". No venom. Pretty wild eh?
Just be careful out there. Pit vipers are nothing to fool with. And the Eastern is actually Americas most deadly snake. More bite victims die of its bite than any other snake in the U.S. It has a nasty combination of hemo and neurotoxic venoms.