The Sideshow

Snake hitches a ride on Qantas flight

The Sideshow


A snake hitched a ride in the wing of a Qantas flight to Papua New Guinea on Thursday morning. Passengers captured video of the distressed snake as it fought to stay attached to the wing amid freezing temperatures and brutal winds.

The snake, later identified as a scrub python, apparently began the flight inside the small plane's wing. Sometime after takeoff, its body began to emerge, perhaps due to the plane's vibrations. An astute passenger noticed and told the crew.

[Related: Rodeo on the highway: Bulls escape from cattle truck]

The snake put up a valiant effort, but the wind and cold temperatures might have been too much. A witness, Robert Weber, spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about the real life "Snakes on a Plane" encounter:

I felt quite sad for it, really. For the remainder of the flight, he was trying to pull himself back into the plane, even though he was fighting against 400km/h winds. The cabin crew told us that at cruising altitude, it was minus-12 degrees outside—but not even that was able to finish him.

Later, the wind whipped the snake's body against the wing, causing blood to spray across the engine. According to Weber, the pilot, who had been watching the snake's struggle, said, "He should be dead."

Not so fast, cap'n. The snake continued to fight the good fight until the plane touched ground. Based on the report from the Sydney Morning Herald, it's unclear if it's still alive, but it seems unlikely.

While the snake was nowhere near passengers, there was a case last year of a snake showing up in the cockpit of a different plane. That flight's captain, Braden Blennerhassett, was forced to make an emergency landing. "Look, you're not going to believe this," Blennerhassett said during the call to the control tower. "I've got snakes on a plane."

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