The Amazing Amazon

When I was four years old, my family lived in Brazil, and we once took a trip into the rainforest for a family vacation. There were no paths or roads, and we moved from place to place via motorboat. Our guide told us about the massive snakes that lived in the area — and sure enough, I found one (or one found me) when I strayed from my parents to pick a flower. That’s when I felt something prick my leg and looked down to see a giant snake hanging from my ankle. I screamed bloody murder, my parents came running, the snake slithered off, and for a couple of hours we all thought I was going to die.

I didn’t, obviously. The snake was an anaconda — a non-poisonous constrictor. Judging from the size of the bite mark, the locals estimated it was around sixteen feet long. I was given a shot for infection, a swab of the bite, then sent on my (now fully traumatized) way.

So I won’t be getting too close to the life-sized anaconda model at the bilingual (Spanish and English) Amazon Voyage, opening today at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. I will, however, be checking out the displays on piranhas, electric eels, giant and parasitic catfish and much more; I might even make side trips to the Science Lounge and lectures that the museum is offering. Amazon Voyage, which runs until early January 2001, is free with museum admission; for more information, call 303-370-6000 or visit
Sept. 24-Jan. 2, 2010

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen