Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snakes On A Plane

Samuel L Jackson can stand down.
WTF???!!! (1)
This was not a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster: this was real.
Passengers on a recent Qantas flight from Cairns (Oz) to Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) looked out the window...and saw a 3m python clinging to the wing! But unlike in Snakes on a Plane (that oh-so- forgettable C-grade 2006 movie), there was no danger to anyone.
A passenger saw the snake flapping in the slipstream and raised the alarm. The snake's tail was whipped against the plane, creating a blood trail (part of which in pic 2 looks like a tear in the plane's fuselage). Altitude, freezing temperatures and the high speed of the aircraft all took their toll: the python was dead on arrival.
WTF???!!! (2)
Qantas assures us hitchhiking snakes are not an everyday occurrence: "We've never heard of this happening before. The python must have taken refuge on the exterior of the aircraft at Cairns Airport overnight before take-off.''
Quarantine officials in Port Moresby identified it as an amethystine python. These occur in an area directly opposite Cairns airport and probably also in the mangroves that surround it. Reaching 8.5m, they're Aussie's largest snake.
If this stowaway had been that size, maybe Mr Jackson would have been required after all!

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