Fact Clearup: Snakes and Bridges

A couple of points of order raised by quizzers over the last week or so:

Anaconda versus Pygmy Hippo

Who is the heaviest? Everyone went for anaconda but the Wiki pages are clear. Heaviest verified anaconda weighed 97.5kg while the Pygmy Hippopotamus can reach 275 kg. It’s not even close.

fakesnake
Another fake snake story

Nigel in the Brass Monkey Leith found a Sun article about a supposed 60-stone anaconda which would be over 300 kg but there are plenty of these mega-snake stories about and the sources are rife with phrases like “estimated” and “thought to be”.

Not the same as facts!

Humber Bridge versus Golden Gate

Last week at the Joker & The Thief, I asked for the longest bridge with the Humber Bridge and the Golden Gate as options.

I said the Humber Bridge was longer, based on a reference I’d read that said the Humber was the longest in the world when it was built in 1981.

As the Golden Gate was completed in the 1930s, I assumed it was shorter.

Grace pointed out afterwards that she’d had a quick look-up (after all the questions) and this showed the Golden Gate as longer.

Indeed, a wiki check shows:

  • Humber: 2220 metres
  • Golden Gate: 2737 metres

However, this is the total length of the bridge and if you look at the longest span (distance between the towers) you have:

  • Humber: 1410 metres
  • Golden Gate: 1280 metres

Luckily the outcome of that particular question had no effect on the overall quiz outcome but it’s an undesirable ambiguity and ultimately, a shite question.

1280px-goldengatebridge-001

But don’t worry, the person who wrote the question has been sacked and the database amended.

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