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A viral photo showing a blue “Texas Bonnet Rattlesnake” is merely an April Fools’ Day joke.
The photo shows a bright blue snake that’s a digitally altered version of a western diamondback rattlesnake, which can be seen here.
“Texas Hill Country face book page has posted a photo of a supposedly evolved rattlesnake that appears to have adopted blue markings making it possible to blend in with the beautiful road side blue bonnet fields. Since its very common practice for people to catch photo ops wherever these fields of flowers appear, this is big news if it’s true,” a Facebook caption reads of the fake snake.
There’s also an official-sounding article that accompanies the hoax.
“On Saturday morning, the Texas Identification and Taxonomy Association tweeted that several members were en route to Bend, Texas after local game wardens were unable to identify an ‘unusual organism.’ On Monday morning, TITA confirmed that the animal was ‘a previously unknown species of snake’ and released,” the article reads. It then quotes a “Dr. William Nye, founder of TITA and Professor of Biological Sciences at The University of Texas.”
“The Governing Committee at TITA has designated the snake’s scientific name as ‘Crotalus Lupinus,’ and the discoverer, Robert McCrae, has assigned the common name of ‘Texas Bonnet Rattlesnake,’” the article says.
According to Snopes, the article was created as an April Fools’ Day hoax. The photo went viral and it’s still being passed around.
“As indicated by the 1 April 2014 dating of the original article, the description of the Texas Bonnet Rattlesnake’s discovery is an April Fool’s Day prank, and the creature itself (along with the ‘Texas Identification and Taxonomy Association’ organization and the fabricated local television news screen shots embedded in the article) is nothing more than a fictional creation devised in the perpretation of a joke,” Snopes says.