A photo of a hypothetical “Amazon snake cat” has gone viral on social media, sparking debate among people weighing whether they believe the image is real or fake.
The photo, which has been shared on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, is reportedly a feral cat with scaly fur that appears to be yellow and navy blue to black.
Several social media users who posted photos said the feline was called “serpens catus”, which means “serpent” and “intelligent, intelligent, shrewd, wise, prudent or prudent” in Latin.
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Posts implying that serpens catus is a true feral cat claim that the species is extremely rare and lives in the Amazon rainforest.
“The first photo of a snake cat caught only appeared in 2020,” said multiple posts, with social media accounts copying and pasting the cat’s supposed backstory.
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It was not immediately clear where the photo came from.
Fox News Digital reached out to Big Cat Rescue and the American Zoological Society for comment.
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A photo of the Amazon viper appears to have caused confusion on social media, with some people believing the photo.
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“Beautiful and ferocious…remarkable,” one Facebook user wrote next to the uploaded image. “Some people question validity. It’s a surprising thing, it has to be admitted. If you can support or show plausible weak validity, please post it. But please base it on actual research.”
On several other social media platforms, users also called the Amazon snake cat “charming” and “cool”.
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Not all social media users are convinced that the Amazon snake cat exists. In fact, most people said they thought the image was an obvious hoax.
“Clear fake,” wrote one Reddit user. “There are no known genes that would produce natural hair or fur in those (navy blue and bright yellow) colors.”
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“Damn! I wish it was a real cat lol,” wrote one Facebook user after commenters shared their disbelief about the viral cat image.
Other social media users said they believed the photo of the Amazon snake cat was fake because the fur on the cat’s ears didn’t match the color.
The cat’s supposed scientific name – serpens catus – also made the point clear to skeptical social media users.
“Of all things that don’t exist…sigh…scientific name is hilarious,” wrote one Facebook user under a recent Amazon snake cat post.
At the time of publication, no scientific journals or reports confirmed the existence of legitimate Amazon vipers.
Palaeos, a Mexico-based Spanish-language scientific resource aimed at educating the public, dismissed a Facebook photo of an Amazon snake and cat and suggested the image was generated by artificial intelligence.
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Twitter has attached fact-checking captions to select Amazon snake and cat photos that have high engagement.
“Readers added context they thought people might want to know: whether it was (a) altered picture of a cat or a (newly) created picture,” the note said. “Experts say there is no such species as this cat.”
In the reptile world, there exists a species of cat snake, named for its vertical oval pupils, which resemble constricted cat eyes.
Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that cat snakes are nocturnal, mildly venomous, and occur on every continent except Antarctica.