Pictures: The Real-Life Snakes on a Plane in Australia

Have you ever been on a plane that kept hitting freaky turbulence or been cut off by some fascist stewardess trying to enforce some never-agreed-to dress code that involves pants? Well save your airplane horror stories, Julieanne Moore, you’ve still got nothing on a group of Qantas passengers last week who looked out at the wing on their flight from Cairns, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea, only to see a 10-foot scrub python on the wing, trying to reenact Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. It’s weird, a snake on your plane wing is actually a confusing mix of fears, like trying to dodge sharks while you’re prematurely ejaculating.

QF191 was about 20 minutes into its 6.15am flight from Cairns to Port Moresby on Thursday when a woman pointed outside the plane and told cabin crew: ”There’s a snake on the wing … There’s its head and if you look closely you can see a fraction of its body.’

But unlike Samuel L. Jackson’s 2006 fictional Hollywood blockbuster in which a nest of vipers causes death and destruction on a jet…

…Go on.

…this reptile was concerned only with self-preservation.

Nice, bro. Knowing what I know about Australians, it would be disappointing if no one shouted, “Thet’s naught a snoyke…”

While some passengers scoffed in disbelief, she was correct. Rick Shine, a snake expert at the University of Sydney, said the specimen was a ”very uncomfortable” scrub python, the longest snake in Australia.

Or, ALTERNATE SCENARIO, Ice Cube, who happens to be on the plane, jumps up and demands to know, Anaconda-style, “Yo dey got snakes out dere dis big?”

”There’s no way it could be anything else,” he said. ”They’re common in north Queensland. They’re ambush predators and if there are rodents anywhere nearby, they’ll most likely be in the vicinity. They often find their way into tight ceiling spaces in houses, although I’ve never heard of one on a plane until now.”

So you’re saying Qantas has rats? Are you sure they didn’t just confuse a baby kangaroo for a giant rat? That was always happening on Looney Tunes.

One passenger, Robert Weber, a website designer in Cairns, said: ”The people at the front were oblivious to what was going on but the passengers at the back were all totally focused on the snake and how it might have got onto the aircraft.
”There was no panic. At no time did anyone stop to consider that there might be others on board.”

Well of course, one of them was creating a diversion. Those snakes have you right where they want you.

Mr Weber said initially the snake was tucked away ”quite neatly” but then the wind caught the last 30 centimetres of its tail, ”pulling him straight out”.
He said that from that moment, everyone watched on as the trip became an ultimately futile ”life and death struggle for the snake”.
”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.”

Aw, this is like one of those “Hang in there, baby” posters come to life, poor plucky snake.

Mr Weber, who videoed the ultimately futile struggle, said both pilots took it in turns to visit the rear of the plane and watch as, several times, the snake hauled itself to safety, only to be dragged out again. As it slowly lost its grip, the wind repeatedly whipped it against the side of the plane, spraying blood across the engine.

That is so sad, and yet so, so metal.

”At that point, the pilot turned to us and said: ‘He should be dead’. Yet even on descent, the snake was fighting to find safety. ”Until we landed, I looked out the window and the thing was still moving.” The snake later died and was removed from the plane by ground staff. []

I hope they ate it like Richie Valens and his brother in La Bamba. And then an old Apache medicine man could make them a medallion out of its bones, to keep more snakes from coming on their planes using the powers of the spirit world. But only if they always wore it next to their skin on flights. I’m telling you, I know how all this snake stuff works.