Cassian Baliarsingh

A massive serpent fossil, believed to be the largest snake to have ever slithered across Earth, was unearthed in Gujarat. Scientists believe it to be the largest snake to have ever existed in the world. The colossal serpent has been named ‘Vasuki Indicus’ after the mythological snake king associated with Lord Shiva.

A team of IIT-Roorkee discovered the snake fossil in the lignite mines of Gujarat. The team has confirmed the snake existed in Earth approximately 47 million years ago. The researchers estimated the serpent could have weighed around one tonne with 36-49 feet height, making it not only the longest have also one of the heaviest snakes ever known in the history of human existence.

The unearthed fossils include 27 vertebrae, some of which were found still in the same position as they would have been when the snake was alive.

Earlier, scientists had discovered Colombian Titanoboa in 2002, which was till now crowned as the largest snake in the world. However, the size of ‘Vasuki Indicus’ reveals it was way longer and larger than Colombian Titanoboa.

Going by its height and size, the serpent would have been a formidable predator, scientists believe. However, IIT-Roorkee postdoctoral researcher Debajit Datta believes it may have been a gentle snake.

“It may well  have been a gentle giant, resting its head on a high porch formed by coiling its massive body for most parts of the day or moving sluggishly through the swamp like an endless train,” Datta told TOI.