Any old snake-on-a-plane story will rightly inspire horror. But the snake that managed to travel more than 9,000 miles from Australia to Scotland by burrowing in a woman’s shoe takes the genre to a realistically terrifying new level.
Moira Boxall, who returned to Glasgow after vacationing in Queensland, Australia, found the serpent curled up in one of her shoes after the long trek. The nonvenomous spotted python even grew accustomed to its new high-altitude environment, shedding its skin during the flight, according to the Australian Broadcast Corporation. This particular species of python is a fairly common pet, as evidenced by its docile in-flight behavior.
Boxall was visiting family on vacation and claims she saw a snake in her room on one of her last nights in Australia. But searches for any wayward snake slithering around her Aussie accommodation turned up nothing, according to son-in-law Paul Airlie. The suspicion among Boxall’s family is that the shoe was packed in her luggage with the snake already making itself a home inside of it.
Boxall, a snake novice unaccustomed to dealing with the terrors of the outback, quickly called her family back in Australia when she found the snake, who then alerted the proper authorities in Scotland.
The snake that traveled across the world was surely an unexpected shock, but it certainly pales in comparison to some of the creatures passengers have tried to pass off as normal stowaway luggage, like the man who tried to conceal 20 snakes in his luggage on a flight from Germany to Russia.
Just pray you never sit next to that guy.