Paul Rosolie, Anaconda


The Amazon's got nothing on the wild wild web—just ask Paul Rosolie!

The conservationist was supposed to get eaten alive by a giant anaconda as part of Discovery Channel's Eaten Alive special. Wearing a custom-made "snake-proof" suit, Rosolie covered himself in pig's blood to entice his prey—all in the name of science, he claimed! But when the end result aired Sunday, viewers were extremely let down: Rosolie got an above-the-shoulder squeeze, perhaps, but he was by no means eaten alive!

For the better part of the two-hour program, Rosolie and his team searched for a 25-plus-foot anaconda he said he encountered years ago. When that effort proved unsuccessful, they settled for a smaller snake.

The 30-year-old naturalist started to go through with the stunt. He went headfirst into the belly of the beast, remaining in constant communication with his wife and team of medical professionals thanks to some fancy technology worked into his suit. The snake devoued Rosolie's helmet-covered head, but as her jaws descended on his shoulders, the panic in his voice became apparent.

"I'm getting coils over me," he said. "She's got my arms pinned. She knows there's nothing I can do."

His heart rate soared and he told the team he was "not getting air that well." When someone asked if he was OK, he paused, then assured them that he was, adding, "I'm trying to stay calm."

"Guys my face is down," he said, before shouting, "I'm calling it! I need help!"

Rosolie's team jumped into action, wrestling the snake off of him before allowing it to slither off unharmed (or so the Eaten Alive gang claims).

"I felt her jaws lock onto my helmet. I felt her gurgling and wheezing but then I felt her let go," Rosolie said post-attempt. "She got my arm into a position where her force was fully on my exposed arm. I started to feel the blood drain out of my hand and I felt the bone flex, and when I got to the point where I felt like it was going to snap I had to tap out."

The Internet was, to say the least, not amused by Rosolie's failed attempt at being eaten alive. 

Don't rule out Rosolie making a second attempt at becoming snake food, though. "Now that I know this suit can withstand the crush, we're ready to take it to a real giant," he teased.


UPDATE: In response to the Eaten Alive backlash, Discovery released the following statement: "Paul created this challenge to get maximum attention for one of the most beautiful and threatened parts of the world, the Amazon Rainforest and its wildlife. He went to great lengths to send this message and it was his absolute intention to be eaten alive. Ultimately, after the snake constricted Paul for over an hour and went for his head, the experiment had to be called when it became clear that Paul would be very seriously injured if he continued on. The safety of Paul, as well as the anaconda, was always our number one priority."

(Originally published Dec. 8, 2014 at 6:33 a.m. PT)

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