How Long Would It Take For a Python To Travel From Florida to Michigan?
This is not a drill. Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades have begun a northern migration.
This news actually comes from The New York Times!
According to New York Times reporter Patricia Mazzei, the intrusive species has begun "transiting" north and have made it as far as West Palm Beach.
Before we get into the math I should let you know that I hate snakes. They have no legs, yet they move (more on that later). My biggest concern is now that I've shared this fear, my fellow basement dweller in our studios may put one in my office (I'm talking to you MJ).
As you can see above, it would take a human being 423 hours (roughly 17.5 days) to walk from West Palm Beach to Lansing. That's assuming they average 3 miles per hour and never sleep.
A python however does not walk. According to the New York Times article "One python transited continuously for 58.5 hours and traveled 2.43 kilometers per day". A couple of takeaways from this: 1. When snakes travel they call it a 'transit'. 2. There is a person who's job it is to follow a python around for 58.5 hours. 3. I learned how to convert kilometers to miles.
So here's the math:
2.43 km = 1.51 miles
It's 1,293 miles from the furthest migratory point the Burmese pythons have made it thus far to Lansing, MI. Assuming a python travels 1.51 miles per day without resting, it would take approximately 862 days or 2.36 years.
But let's face it, snakes need to sleep. According to PawTracks.com, pythons sleep, on average, 16 hours a day. Here's another little terrifying nugget I learned: Burmese Pythons don't have eyelids (I guess the same is true for all snakes) so you have no idea when they are sleeping or whether they are just staring at you, trying to figure out how to eat you. They also like to sleep near water or in trees, which means there's a chance you could run into one of these transiting nope ropes while going for a swim. Maybe one will fall onto your head while your taking a leisurely stroll!
Back to the 16 hour sleeping habit. Given this new wrinkle, that would leave only 8 hours of travel per day:
1.51 / 3 = approximately 0.50 miles per day
1,293 miles / 0.50 miles per day = 2,586 miles per day or 7.08 years
What have we learned from this math? Really nothing other than my high school math teacher was right, I should stick to radio and leave the math to the professionals.
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