The Internet enjoys a reputation for being unflappable in cases of newsworthy events, with devoted social media practitioners taking pride in their ability to absorb each new viral clip, fail compilation and cat video. But some things are still incredible enough to stun, and this week that something was video footage of a truly massive alligator - estimated at 15-16 feet in length - casually walking across the green at the Buffalo Creek golf course in Florida. While initially thought by many to be a hoax, it was later confirmed that the animal is very real and has been photographed on the grounds before - and now many times since.
Now, YouTube user Pim Rose has done the only logical thing left to do with such footage: Combine it with the famous first-contact scene from the original Jurassic Park. You can watch the results, above.
What stands out about the mashup immediately is that, once the initial joke has passed, the continue scene (re: the iconic John Williams musical cues and the astonished reactions of Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler) feels oddly appropriate to the moment. While alligators of this size are not uncommon enough to be called truly "rare," seeing one in this context - moving through a human-populated area in broad daylight with seemingly no regard for any potential danger to itself - absolutely is.
The noteworthiness of the sightings (which are apparently regular enough that the course has described the gator as an "unofficial mascot") is especially well founded considering that, while native to the region, alligator populations in the U.S. are continuously threatened by human developments (like a golf course) enroaching on their territories. In fact, one of the most likely scenarios for how an animal of this size came to reside in this particular area is that it was likely the alligator's territory long before anyone thought to build a golf course there. A reptile of this size could easily be over 100 years old, which would make the Buffalo Creek gator older than most urban developments in Florida overall.
It remains to be seen what life will be like for the creature now that it has attained unwitting Internet celebrity. While the golf course owners are likely enjoying the surge in publicity that having a "real life monster" living on its grounds has attracted, steps will almost certainly have to be taken in order to discourage visitors from seeking out or getting too close to the animal. Alligators are not known to be inherently antagonistic toward humans, but they will generally fight back if threatened or cornered - and one of this size is certainly capable of inflicting serious damage in self defense: American alligators' jaws can exert on average over 2,900 pounds per square-inch of force, or nearly three times the power of a bit from a lion or tiger.
Meanwhile, the Jurassic Park franchise will continue when the Jurassic World sequel hits theaters on June 22nd, 2018.
Source: Pim Rose (YouTube)