02/05/2014 01:37 pm ET Updated Feb 05, 2014

This Massive Invasive Python Could Challenge Florida's Record

They say size doesn't matter, but the invasive Burmese pythons multiplying in the Everglades are beginning to haunt our nightmares.

Case in point: check out these photos of what could be a challenger for the state record for a python caught in the wild -- according to Miami's Local10 news station, the massive creature measured 18 and a half feet and weighed 150 pounds when it was captured Tuesday by water management workers:

The Palm Beach Post reports the python was basking in the sun on a levee when spotted by South Florida Water Management District workers checking canals.

If official measurements confirm the snake's size at 18' 6", it will fall just two inches short of the official state record. A Miami man turned in an 18-foot, 8-inch python last May after his friends stabbed it to death when it began wrapping itself around his leg.

Tuesday's catch will almost certainly be heavier: the record holder, a female, was just 128 pounds.

(The champ before that was a pregnant 17-foot, 7-inch python who was found to be carrying 87 eggs. She weighed in at 164 pounds!)

Believed to be the fault of irresponsible exotic pet owners or the offspring of snakes set loose during Hurricane Andrew, the invasive pythons living in the Everglades have cost millions in eradication efforts. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have fought the slithery population with everything from specially-designed python traps to a public hunting contest to bomb-sniffing dogs and even planes outfitted with thermal infrared cameras.

Even worse than serving as nightmare fuel, the snakes may be decimating species native to the extremely delicate Everglades. A recent study showed populations of medium-sized mammals such as raccoons, opossums, and bobcats have been reduced by as much as 99 percent in areas where the pythons are known to be.