We're using past tense because, well, the snake did not make it to its final destination this morning. The ripe-for-a-Samuel L. Jackson-joke tale began on a Qantas flight to Papua New Guinea. "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,'" reads the report from the Sydney Morning Herald's Eamonn Duff. This is a better picture of what those passengers saw:
Experts say the serpent was a scrub or amethystine python, which can grow to 22 feet long. And this one was a fighter. From one passenger:
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.
The snake eventually lost its grip, and, well:
As it slowly lost its grip, the wind repeatedly whipped it against the side of the plane, spraying blood across the engine.
''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.''
It's okay. You can shudder now.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.