By Richard Shears
Daily Mail Online
Photo:Borneo’s Nessie: The image that sparked fears a giant serpent was stalking the river Baleh
According to legend, the Nabau was a terrifying snake more than 100ft in length and with a dragon’s head and seven nostrils.
But now local villagers living along the Baleh river in Borneo believe the mythical creature has returned after this photo of a gigantic snake swimming along the remote waterways has emerged.
The picture, taken by a member of a disaster team monitoring flood regions by helicopter, has sparked a huge debate about whether the photos are genuine or merely the work of photo-editing software.
Even the respected New Straits Times newspaper in Kuala Lumpur has asked readers to make up their own minds about the photos.
Villagers who claim to have seen the snake say they have given it the name of Nabau, after an ancient sea serpent which can transform itself into the shapes of different animals. People who have studied the photograph of the shape taken from the air have dismissed suggestions that it’s a log.
As one writer asked: ‘A log can’t be that winding, can it?’ Others have suggested it’s a speedboat, but this has been dismissed because of the twisting wake.
The most common accusation is that the photo has simply been manipulated on a computer, while others complain that the river is a different colour to the real Baleh rover which is a murky brown.
Photo 2: Right; A second photo of the alleged giant snake.
But villagers who insist the snake exists say that photos of the creature being taken in different parts of the river prove it is swimming about.
Earlier this month scientists unearthed the fossil of a killer snake that was longer than a bus, as heavy as a small car and which could swallow an animal the size of a cow.
The 45ft long monster – named Titanoboa – was so big that it lived on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles, squeezing them to death and devouring them whole.
Weighing an impressive 1.25 tons, it slithered around the tropical forests of South America 60 million years ago, just five million years after the last dinosaurs were wiped out.
Partial skeletons of the boa constrictor-like prehistoric killer were found in a Colombian coal mine by an international team of fossil hunters.