8 min read

I Figure There's Way More To This Story About A Man Who Finds Himself Inside Snake And Is Also The Star Of A Discovery TV Show

I bet if I were friends with wildlife enthusiast-cum-filmmaker Paul Rosolie, I'd already know he's a fan of nature and wouldn't need tweets like this:

If Rosolie had more than 140 characters, I also figure there might be a chance he'd elaborate that it goes down in "the belly of an anaconda in a custom-built snake-proof suit" as part of a totally-not-a-hoax Discovery Channel TV show.

And if I could ask him, Rosolie would probably agree his enthusiasm for conservation gets a chance to shine in the teaser trailer, which he then might take a moment to reiterate is definitely not a hoax:

Eaten Alive | Sun Dec 7 9/8c on Discovery

Catch EATEN ALIVE Sun Dec 7 9/8c on Discovery. | http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/eaten-alive "I'm about to be the first person to be eaten alive by an anaconda," the nature lover does in fact say in the trailer, and presumably the next bit - about how wild anacondas rarely attack humans, and in recorded history have never eaten anyone - was cut.

In the second trailer (which I haven't seen but a hapless Discovery intern probably misplaced somewhere) Rosolie, to avoid fear-mongering, likely chats with a biologist, anyone really, but I imagine it's some sort of anaconda expert and together they both reflect on how few-and-far-between anaconda attacks are and that there are no recorded fatalities.

Likewise, Rosolie quotes (I'd guess) at length from a scientific report, like this one: "Large constrictors snakes are potentially dangerous to people due to their size and strength (Branch and Haacke 1980). However, there are no documented attacks by green anacondas (Eunectes murinus) on humans."

And the Discovery team admits, in a bid to make Rosolie more appetizing to anacondas, they did have to resort to the old-dunk-a-guy-in-pig's-blood trick, which they apologize for not being 100% animal-friendly but Stephen King got away with it in a novel once, plus Jane Goodall wrote a forward for Rosolie's book so let's just agree to cut some slack on this one.

This is the point where, I'm predicting, Discovery releases a third trailer to address a few things I'm wondering about, like how this anaconda-proof-suit business going to work. "Well, there has to be tough layer of material, otherwise the constrictive force that can collapse the lungs of a capybara would also kill a human, and we're all big fans of Paul here so we'd never let that happen," Discovery might say. "Plus, Paul's really knocked it out of the park on this one. Did you know he'd been practicing extreme meditation techniques because a snake only ceases constricting after the prey's heartbeat stops? And that would be a bummer and also cruel to the anaconda if it kept squeezing and squeezing and Paul didn't stop his heart, at least a little bit. As a responsible corporation we really wanted to make sure the snake is comfortable through the whole thing, you know?" is what I'm pretty sure Discovery would say, and may in fact be about to mention any moment now.

That's when I write in to Discovery asking to see photos of the snake afterward, just to make sure the anaconda is okay, and Discovery is totally responsive and assures me the snake is fine, and also plays a little prank.

Hi Nico, the Discovery team writes, thanks for asking! Here's what the snake looks like after Paul hopped out of him!

And that's when I write back, Haha you jokers! That's definitely a sarlacc from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi! I bet you're going to try to tell me that Paul's suit looks just like this! And I send in a photo of Boba Fett in Mandalorian armor.

Discovery shares my second letter with Paul - who is cool with me calling him Paul now, because it turns out he read all the Expanded Universe books in middle school, too - and Paul gets the reference that Boba Fett in fact survives the fall into the sarlacc pit and has amazing adventures across the galaxy afterward.

And then I bet Paul and I become fast friends, and shake our heads a bit knowingly whenever anyone mentions this Change.org petition in which thousands of people have called to boycott Paul's show, because Paul, who as I now know, would never hurt a living thing.