Remember early in the pandemic when people were sharing photos of like, deer and foxes and all sorts of majestic creatures frolicking around in urban spaces, all with the caption, “nature is healing?” Well, if this is nature healing then it needs to go right ahead and unheal itself real fast. A 16-foot python was found hanging out inside a toilet in a Singapore coffee shop.
As reported by Newsweek, two siblings—owner “Mr. Liu” and his sister—were working the late shift at a cafe in the northwestern Singapore suburb of Kranji, when around 1:00am they heard “a strange noise” coming from the bathroom. With all the customers gone, Liu and his sister thought perhaps it was a robber who had somehow broken in through the bathroom. When they went to check out the commotion, what they found instead of a burglar was nearly five meters of cold-blooded slither stick.
Liu’s sister captured the intruder on film and posted it to Facebook, which can be seen here. The snake is believed to be a reticulated python, “the world’s longest snake.” Per Newsweek, these pythons use an underground network of drains and canals to maneuver around the island instead of “crossing busy ground surfaces.” Native to South and Southeast Asia, the reticulated python is the snake most encountered in Singapore, with the Wildlife Reserves Singapore collecting 40 to 50 errant pythons PER MONTH around the island nation.
Others have suggested the snake could have been a boa constrictor, which look similar to reticulated pythons, but the mystery snake escaped back out of the bathroom via the toilet before it could be identified. Nonetheless, as a non-venomous constrictor, while a reticulated python’s bite won’t do much harm, it could squeeze—and in some cases swallow whole—a human to death. So they are probably best avoided in the wild. Or the cafe bathroom.
Snakes coming out of toilets sounds like a tailor-made urban legend. It combines an invasion of privacy at one’s most vulnerable with oft-misunderstood—but very scary looking and sometimes lethal—creatures. But as it turns out, this sort of thing happens more than I’d care to think about. It’s even happened in my grandfather’s trailer out in good ole Dawson, Texas. Most of the time, the snakes are just following after prey, generally rodents. In those instances, the best thing to do is shut the door and call the authorities to come and handle it.
Or, if a sleepy reticulated python is making a stop at your cafe, serve the big boy some essssspresssssso.