The 13th Floor

Viral Video Shows “Dinosaur-Sized” Alligator Stomping Through Florida Park

Well, no sooner did we publish a feature about bizarre things happening in Florida (I like to think of that state as “the Australia of the US”), someone down there must have decided we’re not through yet.

Seriously, do you remember that Godzilla-like alligator that just want sauntering through a Palmetto golf course last summer? Well, how about the one that was sighted in Lakeland, FL allegedly carrying a human body? This particular reptilian monstrosity was sighted — and recorded — at a nature park near that very same city this week. (Is there something in the Lakeland water we should know about?)

The clip below was shot at the Circle B Bar Nature Reserve by Kim Joiner, who was astounded by the sudden arrival of the lumbering behemoth, now estimated at 12-13 feet in length. While it seems the onlookers are taking a pretty major risk here, it’s likely the gator is incapable of moving fast on land for extended periods of time, due to its enormous weight.

“Alligators are adapted for living in the water, not so much for living on land,” says Laura Brandt, senior wildlife biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in an interview with LiveScience. “So he has a lot of weight to carry on those four little legs he’s got.” But she cautioned that even massive specimens like this one are still an extreme danger to bystanders (the sighting drew quite a crowd), and advises anyone who sees one approaching should calmly put some distance between themselves and the mega-reptile.

Joiner’s footage, which she originally posted to the reserve’s Facebook group, quickly went viral, and was picked up for broadcast by Orlando’s WKMG News, quickly followed by dozens of news outlets and websites around the world.

Commenting on the clip, WKMG anchor Kirstin O’Connor couldn’t believe her eyes. “It seems too big to be real!”

After multiple witnesses verifying last year’s golf-course sighting, I think we can safely say this one is also legit. But damn… these beasts are getting bigger by the year.