A photo of a supposed “Amazon snake cat” has gone viral on social media, and it has stirred a debate among people who are weighing in on whether they think the image is real or fake.
The photo, which has been shared on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, shows what’s reported to be a wild cat with scale-patterned fur that looks yellow and navy-to-black.
Several social media users who have uploaded the photo claim the cat species is called “serpens catus,” which means “serpent” and “knowing, clever, shrewd, wise, prudent or circumspect” in Latin.
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Posts that suggest serpens catus is a real wild cat claim the species is extremely rare and lives in the Amazon rainforest.
“The first images capturing the snake cat appeared only in the 2020,” multiple posts state as social media accounts copy and paste the cat’s supposed backstory.
It’s currently unknown where the photo originated.
Fox News Digital reached out to Big Cat Rescue and the Zoological Association of America for comment.
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The Amazon snake cat photo appears to have caused confusion on social media with some people believing the image.
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“Beautiful ferocity… Remarkable,” a Facebook user wrote alongside the uploaded image. “A few persons are questioning the validity. It is sort of an astonishing thing, gotta admit. If you can support or show reasonable weak validity please post it. But please base it on actual research.”
Across several other social media platforms, there have been users who have called the Amazon snake cat “fascinating” and “cool.”
Gold-ringed cat snakes (left), also known as Boiga dendrophila, is a yellow and black snake that’s native to Asia. Black jaguars (right), also known as Panthera once, is a wild cat native to South America. A viral ‘Amazon snake cat’ photo appears to have combined the look of the two animals. (iStock)
Sarcastic and mocking responses to the Amazon snake cat image could be adding to the confusion online.
Not all social media users are convinced that Amazon snake cats exist. In fact, most have shared that they think the image is a clear sham.
“Obvious fake,” one Reddit user wrote. “No known gene can produce natural hair or fur of those (navy and bright yellow) colors.”
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“Dang it! I wanted it to be a real cat haha,” a Facebook user wrote after commenters shared their doubts about the viral cat image.
Other social media users say they were able to deem the Amazon snake cat photo fake because the coloring of the fur on the cat’s ear doesn’t match.
The supposed scientific name for the cat – serpens catus – also clued skeptical social media users in.
“Of all the things that don’t exist…sigh…the scientific name is comical,” a Facebook user wrote under a recent Amazon snake cat post.
There are no scientific journals or reports confirming the existence of a legitimate Amazon snake cat at the time of publication.
Palaeos, a Mexico-based Spanish language science resource that aims to educate the public, has refuted the Amazon snake cat photo on Facebook and has suggested the image was generated by artificial intelligence.
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Twitter has attached fact-check notes on select Amazon snake cat photos with high engagement.
“Readers added context they thought people might want to know: This is [an] altered picture of a cat or a [newly] created picture,” the note says. “Experts have advised there are no species like this cat.”
Cat snakes can be found in various parts of the world. This small-spotted cat-eyed snake, also known as Leptodeira polysticta, is a slightly venomous snake that can be found anywhere from southern Texas to Costa Rica. (iStock)
In the reptile world, there is a cat snake that exists, which received its name because the species has vertically elliptical pupils that resemble constricted cat eyes.
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Britannica reports that cat snakes are nocturnal, mildly venomous and have a presence in every continent except Antarctica.
Cortney Moore is an associate lifestyle writer on the Lifestyle team at Fox News Digital.