We’ve all been woken up by the feeling of something crawling over our skin. Maybe it’s a fly, or the cat, or just our imagination.
But for one boy in Hervey Bay, Australia, a more slippery surprise was waiting for him as he opened his eyes.
Slithering over his body was an enormous snake, measuring 6 feet in length.
“[On Saturday] we were called at 5 a.m. from a frantic mother whose son woke up to a 6-foot python crawling over him while he slept,” snake catcher Drew Godfrey, of Hervey Bay Snake Catchers, told Newsweek.
The teenager had fallen asleep on the couch, only to be woken up by the curious critter. “[I’m] not sure how it got into the house,” Godfrey said.
“Usually one this big can only get through an open door or window or sometimes a doggy door.”
Godfrey shared footage from the incident to his YouTube page, Hervey Bay Snake Catchers.
The snake in question was a coastal carpet python, a subspecies of carpet python that can be found along the eastern coast of Australia. These snakes can grow up to 13 feet in length, according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, although they rarely exceed 8 feet.
Carpet pythons are non-venomous, instead killing their prey by constriction. The snakes are very common in Hervey Bay and are frequently found inside people’s homes. “[It’s] not uncommon for them to be inside, [but it’s] rare for one to crawl on someone in their sleep,” Godfrey said.
However, it is not unheard of. In February, a carpet python bit a sleeping child after winding itself around the boy’s arm. However, it is thought to have only bitten the child after he rolled onto it in his sleep.
Back in Hervey Bay, Godfrey said that the family were shocked and surprised but not scared as they knew that this snake species was not venomous. “But it was enough to wake them up,” he said. “Better than a coffee.”
The snake itself was very placid and “quite curious,” which is common for this species. However, despite their placid nature, carpet pythons can lash out if they feel harassed or threatened. Therefore, if you find one on your property, it’s always a good idea to call in a professional.
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This article by Pandora Dewan was first published by Newsweek on 8 December 2023. Lead Image: Photo of the 6-foot carpet python after it had been crawling all over the sleeping teenager. HERVEY BAY SNAKE CATCHERS.