A python managed to fly from Queensland to Papua New Guinea free of charge by hitching a ride on the plane's wing. Unfortunately, the snake was found dead upon arrival in Port Moresby but it managed to hang on to the plane the entire flight.
- (Photo: Reuters)
"Halfway to Papua New Guinea, passengers reported seeing a snake clinging to the wing," a Qantas spokesman told Reuters.
That snake turned out to be a scrub python, which can grow as long as 28 feet; this one, however, was only nine feet long. While it's not known exactly how the snake managed to slither its way onto the aircraft without being detected before takeoff, there is a scrubland surrounding the airport.
Thankfully it did not interfere with the flight or the mechanics of the plane, which was able to continue on its journey and make a safe landing in Port Moresby.
It's no surprise the reptile died, given that it battled nearly 500 mph wind and temperatures as low as -12 degrees Celsius, the Daily Mail reported. It attempted to tuck itself into safety under the plane's wing but repeatedly battled the strong wind and was forced into the freezing air.
"I felt quite sad for it really," passenger Robert Weber told the Sydney Morning Herald. "For the remainder of the trip he was trying to pull himself back into the plane. There was no panic. At no time did anyone stop to consider there might be others [snakes] on board."
From the photographs taken, one can see the snake hanging limply, with its blood splattered against the white paint of the plane. The story has caused even those who detest snakes to have a little sympathy.
"I usually can't stand snakes, but I feel sorry for this one. It struggled to hold on only to die, poor thing," Christine posted on the Daily Mail's page.