Oct 07, 2017 I Paul Seaburn

Indonesian Man Wrestles 26-Foot Python and Wins

Tired of the political football that NFL football has turned into? Looking for something to watch that has the violence of football, the excitement of professional wrestling, the gore of bullfighting and the historic attraction of the human-animal battles of the Roman Colosseum? Then ‘Giant Python Wrestling’ may be the sport for you. A man in Indonesia wrapped his arms around a 26-foot python and, after an epic battle, came out on top. Sure, he had a few injuries, but he’ll be back next week faster than you can say “Is there a Giant Python Wrestling Fantasy League?”

The story comes from Indonesia’s Detik News. Robert Nababan, a 37-year-old from the Sungai Akar Village in the Riau province of Sumatra, claims he was riding his motorcycle home on September 30th from his security guard job at a palm oil plantation company when he encountered two people who were blocking the road because a 7.8-meter-long python was blocking their path. That’s when the battle and the betting began.

"I tried to catch it, my hand was bitten, and I was wrestling."

detik python
The loser in the man-versus-python battle

The witnesses watched him wrestle with the reticulated python (Python reticulatus) – the world’s longest snake, longest reptile and one of the heaviest snakes – while the snake fought back by coiling around his body and biting his arm, hand and head. Eventually, Robert defeated the python and was able to crawl away to the waiting arms of his fans, who took him to the hospital where he was treated for a severe arm bite. The snake was either dead or too weak from battle to slither away. Since it didn’t have ears to cut off like a defeated bull, the villagers cut the whole snake into pieces, cooked it and ate it.

Kids practicing their wrestling moves on the dead snake

Is this a great sport or what? Southern Sumatra alone has over 1,000 giant pythons, enough for plenty of exciting, wager-inducing action. What could possibly go wrong?

"You really shouldn't try to do that... of course the snake, if you try and kill it, is going to get really angry and that's when it fights back!"

The head of the local governing body wasn’t too excited about the idea. He suggested something more along the lines of the English foxes-and-hounds.

"There are usually lots of mice in the palm oil plantations and that's what they are hunting."

Perhaps a better sport would be snake versus snake. Petrina Murphy of Australia reports that two 30-pound pythons which were crawling across her roof accidentally fell through a skylight into the bathroom, where she found them fighting in the shower. Were they fighting over a rubber bath toy that looked like a mouse? You may not think this is sporting but the woman did. She says she watched the snakes go at for a while before sweeping them outside with a broom, where they continued to battle. She even proved the sport is suitable for TV by recording the fight.

“I’m just glad the shower was clean so I was able to get some photos and video without it being embarrassing.”


See? There’s plenty to watch instead of football.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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