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This is a silly sentence, but I guess the head could be in one boot and the tail in the other. Or the snake's inside a boot, which is inside another boot. Or there is one snake in one boot, but the boot is part of a pair, and it is not know which boot the snake is in, just that it is one of the boots which are part of the pair.
Or it is a valid - yet false - proposition, such as "all translations are wrong"
Yes, "cobra" is a false cognate. The meanings of it in English and Portuguese are related - a cobra is a type of snake. But in English, the meaning is more narrow, a certain type of snake, while in Portuguese, the specific snake is "naja". Be careful with cognates and check to see how much of the meaning is the same.
There is/are é como o verbo haver, como se estivesse dizendo "há uma cobra naquelas botas" que tem o mesmo significado que "tem". A diferença normalmente é que "have" é algo mais permanente: "I have a house" "I have a car". Agora o there is/are é algo mais no presente, que está acontecendo no momento: "There are a lot of people commenting about this" "There is a doubt about this sentence" "There is a snake in those boots".
I did read the comments, but I still would like to understand why this is not, S/He has/You have a snake in those boots (for instance telling the clerk at a shoe store, or telling someone about the owner of the shoe store I suppose).
What would make this sentence differ from, "S/He has/You have a snake in those boots"?
Or even "It has" as in a store (loja) for boots...