A photo purporting to show a dead 55-foot snake has been making the rounds online, accompanied by a story that almost too outrageous to believe.

The photo and story originally appeared in the People’s Daily, which serves as the official newspaper for the Communist Party in China. It stated that the snake was one of two that were awakened by local workers digging up huge mounds of earth in preparation for a new road that was to cut through the forest that lay just outside of Gupiing city in the Chinese province of Jiangxi.

While one snake, which was reported to be 55-feet long and weigh approximately 300kg, became a casualty of the bulldozers digging, another one, described as a gold boa, appeared supposedly bearing its fangs, causing the workers to flee in terror.

The driver of the bulldozer, however, is said to have been paralyzed with fear. When the workers returned, he was so sick he could barely move, and eventually died at the hospital, presumably of a heart attack.

Despite the story and the accompanying photo, the local government has deemed it all a hoax, due in part to the distinct lack of native boas in that area. It was also thought the coelacanth was extinct until one was discovered in 1938, so to completely dismiss the story as a hoax is to laugh in the face of just how darned scary and unpredictable nature can be.

We’ve all seen the movie Anaconda. Where’s Jon Voight when you need him?